• Sudan says willing to host Afghan refugees

    Sudan on Thursday said willing to host Afghan refugees evacuated recently after the withdrawal of the U.S. troops from the Muslim country located in South Central Asia.

    The U.S. army evacuated more than 100,000 Afghans from Kabul since August But they have not been taken directly to the U.S. as many friendly countries showed a willingness to give them temporary asylum to allow Washington to prepare their resettlement.

    Until now, Uganda is the only African country that has received Afghan refugees in transit to the United States. Rwanda also agreed to house Afghan refugees, according to the State Department.

    On Thursday the Sudanese Security and Defence Council discussed the matter in a meeting chaired by Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, Head of the Sovereign Council.

    Defence Minister Lt-Gen Yassin Ibrahim Yassin stated that the meeting discussed hosting a limited group of Afghans in the country for a known period.

    “Based on Humanitarian grounds, the Council agreed in principle (to temporarily host Afghan refugees), while subjecting the matter to further arrangements and procedures (...),” Yassin further said.

    In a briefing call to the US House of Representatives on 20 August, Secretary of State Antony Blinken told lawmakers that some countries including Sudan offered to house Afghan evacuees.

    The evacuated Afghan may face extended-stay in third countries. Besides the logistical preparations before resettling the Afghan refugees, U.S. security services prefer to conduct security screening for the evacuated people.

    U.S. Army has already placed in custody an Afghan who failed the screening in a military base in Germany. French authorities took a similar decision for an evacuee that was linked to the Taliban.

    https://sudantribune.com/spip.php?article70021

    Après le #Kosovo, l’#Albanie, la #Macédoine_du_Nord, l’#Ouganda, c’est au tour du #Soudan d’accueillir des #réfugiés_afghans évacués de l’#Afghanistan, et qui attendront (à l’infini ?) une #réinstallation...
    C’est l’heure de commencer une métaliste, la voilà :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/928551

  • Covid-19 dans le monde : l’UE réimpose des restrictions aux voyageurs américains
    https://www.lemonde.fr/planete/article/2021/08/30/covid-19-l-ue-reimpose-des-restrictions-sur-les-voyages-non-essentiels-au-de

    Dans le cadre de la lutte contre la pandémie de Covid-19, les pays membres de l’Union européenne (UE) ont décidé d’imposer à nouveau des restrictions aux voyages non essentiels vers son territoire, selon une recommandation publiée lundi 30 août. Six pays sont concernés : les Etats-Unis, Israël, le Kosovo, le Monténégro, le Liban et la Macédoine du Nord. Mais les Etats membres conservent la possibilité de lever ces restrictions pour les personnes totalement vaccinées, précise la Commission européenne dans un communiqué.
    Avant la décision du Conseil européen, plusieurs Etats membres, dont l’Allemagne et la Belgique, classaient déjà les Etats-Unis sur une liste « rouge », exigeant des tests de dépistage et des périodes d’isolement pour les voyageurs en provenance du pays, mais d’autres, comme la France ou les Pays-Bas, les considéraient comme un pays sûr. La liste « verte » de l’UE compte désormais dix-sept pays, dont le Canada, le Japon et la Nouvelle-Zélande. L’UE autorise toujours la venue des voyageurs pleinement vaccinés en provenance des pays extérieurs à sa zone, même si des tests de dépistage ou des périodes de quarantaine sont requis dans certains cas, selon le pays d’arrivée.
    Les Etats-Unis, quant à eux, interdisent toujours aux ressortissants de l’UE de se rendre librement sur leur territoire, en dépit des appels du bloc communautaire. Une absence de mesures de réciprocité qui divise les Vingt-Sept. Les Etats membres dépendants du tourisme se montrent soucieux de ne pas restreindre les arrivées de voyageurs américains. Loin de montrer des signes d’ouverture, Washington déconseille désormais aux Américains de se rendre en Suisse, en raison de la situation sanitaire liée au Covid-19 dans ce pays. Dans un bulletin publié lundi, le département d’Etat a relevé à 4 son niveau d’alerte relatif à la Confédération suisse, invitant les Américains à « ne pas voyager » dans ce pays. Une recommandation émise également par les Centres de prévention et de lutte contre les maladies, principale agence sanitaire des Etats-Unis. « En raison de la situation actuelle en Suisse, même les voyageurs complètement vaccinés peuvent être à risque de contracter et de propager les variants du Covid-19 », précise l’agence. A l’instar d’un grand nombre de pays européens, la Suisse connaît une résurgence du nombre de cas de Covid-19 depuis l’apparition du variant Delta, avec 35 150 cas enregistrés depuis le 16 août, selon les données de l’Office fédéral de santé publique. Les Etats-Unis avaient déjà émis une notice similaire le 10 août pour la France, là aussi en raison d’une hausse du nombre de cas de Covid-19.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#UE#etatsunis#suisse#variant#sante#circulation#frontiere#Israël#kosovo#mnténégro#liban#macédoinedunord#japon#voyagenonessentiel

  • Sur l’#île grecque de #Kos, la #détention des demandeurs d’asile est quasi systématique

    Depuis la fin 2019, presque tous les nouveaux arrivants sont mis en détention dans le seul centre de rétention de la mer Egée. Les ONG craignent que cette pratique ne soit étendue aux autres îles, où de nouveaux camps fermés sont en construction.

    https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2021/07/24/sur-l-ile-grecque-de-kos-la-detention-des-demandeurs-d-asile-est-quasi-syste
    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #centres_fermés #Grèce #îles

  • UK plans #offshore_asylum_centres in other countries for Afghans

    Defence secretary says processing #hubs will be used for those Britain has ‘an obligation to’.

    Britain plans to establish offshore asylum centres for Afghan refugees in countries such as Pakistan and Turkey, as ministers admit that the UK will not be able to rescue those eligible for resettlement before troops leave Kabul.

    The defence secretary, Ben Wallace, said in a newspaper article on Sunday that the UK planned to establish a series of #processing_hubs across the region outside Afghanistan, for Afghans it had “an obligation to”.

    At least 1,429 Afghans have been evacuated from Kabul since last Friday, as part of the #Arap_relocation_scheme designed to help interpreters and others who have helped the British during their 20 years in Afghanistan.

    But it is estimated that a similar number – or more – remain in the country. The emergency airlift was continuing on Sunday, with RAF flights operating despite a crush at the airport gates as desperate Afghans try to flee.

    Nato believes 20 people have died around the airport in the last week, but Britain’s armed forces minister, James Heappey, said the flow outside the airport had improved because the Taliban were “marshalling people into separate queues for the US evacuation and the UK evacuation”.

    A total of 1,721 people – Britons, Afghans and people from allied countries – had been evacuated from Kabul on eight flights in the past 24 hours, Heappey said, with the RAF receiving help from its Australian counterpart in getting people to safety.

    But British officials already acknowledge that it is virtually impossible to evacuate people coming from outside Kabul, although Afghans with a claim have told charity workers they would risk crossing the country if they knew they had a flight.

    The new proposal was born out of the emergency, Wallace said, in an article in the Mail on Sunday. “The [Arap] scheme is not time-limited. We shall stand by our obligations and are investigating now how to process people from third countries and refugee camps,” he wrote.

    However, there were signs that the asylum plan had not been very far developed on Sunday night, when Turkey said it had not been approached and would reject any approach that was made.

    The names of countries had been briefed out by UK officials as examples of where processing centres might be established.

    A scheme to establish an offshore immigration centre was included as part of the Home Office’s nationality and borders bill, published in the early summer, before the western-backed government in Afghanistan collapsed.

    It was controversial because the intention was to allow the UK to send people to a third country to allow their claims to be processed. Officials had begun talks with Denmark about creating a processing centre in Africa – but how it will link together to the emergency centres is unclear.

    Britain has also agreed to take 20,000 Afghan refugees in a separate scheme announced on Tuesday, 5,000 of which will be in the first year. Priority will be given to groups who are most at risk of human rights abuses, such as women, girls and those from religious minorities.

    Ministers are also debating how to respond to the Taliban, with the home secretary, Priti Patel, understood to be exploring with security officials whether they should be proscribed as a terrorist organisation alongside the likes of Isis.

    But the prime minister, Boris Johnson, and other government departments have been holding out the possibility of recognising the Taliban government in Kabul, arguing the regime should be judged by “actions not words”.

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/aug/22/uk-plans-offshore-asylum-centres-in-pakistan-and-turkey-for-afghans

    #réfugiés_afghans #asile #migrations #réfugiés #externalisation #UK #Angleterre #Pakistan #Turquie #procédure_d'asile #réinstallation #interprètes #interprètes_afghans #évacuation

    Comme dit l’article :

    A scheme to establish an offshore immigration centre was included as part of the Home Office’s nationality and borders bill, published in the early summer, before the western-backed government in Afghanistan collapsed.

    –-> voir ici le fil de discussion sur ce sujet (qui concerne le Royaume-Uni et le Danemark) :
    #Priti_Patel ’opens talks with Denmark to open new centre in AFRICA to process asylum seekers who want to come to UK’
    https://seenthis.net/messages/918427

    –—

    Pour rappel, les #USA ont apparemment signé un accord avec 4 pays pour un accueil temporaire (?) des réfugiés afghans, en attente d’un visa états-uniens : #Albanie, #Kosovo, #Macédoine_du_Nord et #Ouganda :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/926161

    ping @isskein @karine4 @_kg_

  • Après le #Kosovo et l’#Albanie, c’est au tour de l’#Ouganda d’avoir accepté d’accueillir temporairement (dans l’attente d’un visa de la part des #USA) des réfugiés afghans :

    Uganda will host thousands of Afghan refugees

    Uganda is set to temporarily host Afghan 2,000 refugees following their home country’s rapid takeover by the Taliban.

    Uganda’s minister for relief, disaster preparedness and refugees, Esther Anyakun, told the country’s Daily Monitor newspaper that president Yoweri Museveni had granted a request by the US to let them stay in Uganda for three months. The US will then relocate them, she said, without specifying where.

    Uganda hosts more refugees than any other country in Africa. Around 1.5 million people have found asylum there, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, most of them from neighboring South Sudan. Uganda is known for having friendly policies that give refugees plenty of rights, including education, work, and property ownership.

    Meanwhile, for many years Ugandans have worked in war zones like Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia. “Armed guards are Uganda’s top export,” reported Bloomberg in 2016.

    The US has reportedly been holding talks with several different countries to get them to agree to temporarily host at-risk Afghans who worked for the American government. With the Taliban back in charge, and memories of the brutality of its former regime remaining strong, many Afghans are trying to flee the country, especially those who worked with foreign powers like the US and UK.

    https://qz.com/africa/2048615/uganda-will-host-hundreds-of-afghan-refugees

    –—

    Sur l’accord Kosovo / Albanie et #Etats-Unis :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/926161

    • Afghans in Uganda

      On Aug. 17, Ugandans woke up to the news that the government had agreed to temporarily host about 2,000 Afghan refugees following a request from the U.S government.

      Until then, many Ugandans had known about the long-running conflict in faraway Afghanistan. But few could have imagined their country somehow getting involved – albeit as a refuge of humanitarian assistance in the crisis.

      Instead, when the Taliban fighters swiftly swept through the country and took over the capital, Kabul in the middle of August, thousands of Afghans immediately started scampering for their lives when President Ashraf Ghani left Afghanistan and was widely quoted saying he did so to avoid bloodshed.

      Esther Davinia Anyakun, Uganda’s state minister for relief, disaster preparedness and refugees, broke the news that America had requested Uganda to host 2,000 of the fleeing Afghans.

      She said President Yoweri Museveni had ordered her to make preparations to host 2,000 refugees from Afghanistan who would be brought in shifts of 500.

      She revealed that the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) had secured the Imperial Group of hotels in Entebbe as a transit centre for the Afghans to arrive at and be screened. She said the Afghans are expected to stay in Uganda for at least three months before being relocated to a third country.

      In the early morning of Aug.25, a chartered flight carrying 51 evacuees from Afghanistan touched down at the old airport in Entebbe. The Independent understands the flight was organised by an Afghan-American services company known as #Sayara_International.

      The International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Uganda, an American humanitarian agency that has worked in Afghanistan for 30 years and in Uganda since 1998, received the Afghan evacuees and they will be helping them with accommodation, healthcare and general welfare services during their temporary stay in Uganda.

      “The IRC is proud to be complementing the efforts of the Government of Uganda and US embassy to receive and support 51 Afghan evacuees that arrived in Uganda at 7.53am this morning,” Elijah Okeyo, the IRC Uganda Country Director said shortly after the Afghan evacuees’ arrival in Uganda.

      “The evacuees from Afghanistan will stay temporarily in Uganda whilst in transit whilst applying for asylum to countries of resettlement such as the US.”

      “Uganda has a long history and tradition of welcoming refugees from all over the world and is one of the world’s largest refugee hosting countries, with 1.5 million refugees mainly from South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

      The Foreign Affairs ministry said the evacuees who included men, women and children underwent the necessary security screening as well as the mandatory COVID-19 testing and the required quarantine procedures.

      A statement from the American embassy in Kampala noted that as the largest bilateral supporter of refugees in Uganda and their Ugandan host communities, the United States appreciates the Ugandan people for their generosity and hospitality toward these communities.

      “The Government of Uganda has once again demonstrated a willingness to play its part in matters of international concern. We commend its efforts and those of the local and international organizations in Uganda who are providing humanitarian support in partnership with the Government of Uganda for these evacuees from Afghanistan.”

      “The United States appreciates the Government of Uganda’s offer to provide temporary assistance to Afghanistan evacuees and commends international organization representatives in Uganda for their partnership and for lending their expertise and support to Afghanistan evacuees,” the spokesperson of the US mission in Kampala told The Independent in an email.

      https://www.independent.co.ug/afghans-in-uganda

    • Afghan refugees might complicate Ugandan politics

      Ugandans worry the US will ignore human rights violations

      Uganda is often praised as a model of hospitability for refugees. The country is home to at least 1.5 million refugees and has a remarkable open border tradition that spans decades, despite dealing with high domestic poverty levels. But the news that Uganda might be a destination country for Afghan refugees following the US withdrawal from that country in August 2021 has raised alarms in Uganda. Some local human rights defenders are concerned that accepting Afghan refugees might excuse President Yoweri Museveni’s continued authoritarian rule.

      (...)

      https://globalvoices.org/2021/09/27/afghan-refugees-might-complicate-ugandan-politics

  • Albania, Kosovo say ready to temporarily house Afghan refugees

    Albania and Kosovohave accepted a U.S. request to temporarily take in Afghan refugees seeking visas to enter the United States, the country two countries said on Sunday.

    In Tirana, Prime Minister Edi Rama Rama said U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration had asked fellow NATO member Albania to assess whether it could serve as a transit country for a number of Afghan refugees whose final destination is the United States.

    “We will not say ’No’, not just because our great allies ask us to, but because we are Albania,” Rama said on Facebook.

    Sources had told Reuters that Biden’s administration had held discussions with such countries as Kosovo and Albania about protecting U.S.-affiliated Afghans from Taliban reprisals until they completed the process of approval of their U.S. visas.

    In Kosovo, President Vjosa Osmani said the government had been in contact with the U.S. authorities about housing Afghan refugees since mid-July.

    “Without any hesitation and ... conditioning I gave my consent to that humanitarian operation,” Osmani said on her Facebook account.

    Osmani said Afghan refugees would be vetted by the U.S. security authorities, and added they would stay in Kosovo until their documentation for U.S. immigration visas was arranged.

    Hundreds of U.S. troops are still stationed in Kosovo as peacekeepers more than two decades after the 1998-99 war with the then-Yugoslav security forces.

    https://www.reuters.com/world/albania-ready-temporarily-house-afghan-refugees-pm-rama-says-2021-08-15

    #Albanie #Kosovo #réfugiés_afghans #anti-chambre #asile #migrations #réfugiés #réinstallation #dans_l'attente_d'un_visa (qui probablement n’arrivera pas?) #externalisation #USA #Etats-Unis #transit

    ping @isskein @karine4

    • Prime Minister Rama Confirms Albania Will Accept Afghan Refugees

      Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama announced that Albania will accept Afghan refugees fleeing Taliban rule.

      Rama made the announcement this morning, confirming reports that the American government had asked Albania to host Afghan refugees waiting for their US visas.

      He expects Albania to become a transition destination, as Afghan refugees wait to settle in the US.

      He also said that he didn’t know if Kosovo’s government had been asked to do the same. Nevertheless, he expressed his hopes that if approached, Kosovo would also accept the US’s request.

      In his post, Rama mentioned that Albania had already agreed to host several hundreds high risk refugees, such as intellectual figures and women, at the request of various institutions. Rama did not name the institutions in question.

      Earlier this week, Reuters wrote that the US government had been conducting secret talks with Kosovo and Albania to temporarily house Afghan refugees who had worked for the US government.

      https://exit.al/en/2021/08/15/prime-minister-rama-confirms-albania-will-accept-afghan-refugees

    • HEBRENJTË, AFGANËT, SHQIPËRIA

      Nuk e ka shqiptaria një histori më të lavdishme për botën, se sa marrja në mbrojtje e hebrenjve gjatë Luftës së Dytë Botërore. Askush s’ua kërkoi gjyshërve tanë ta rrezikonin jetën e tyre për të shpëtuar hebrenjtë, siç pakkush bëri në Europën e përpirë nga flama naziste. Ata e bënë. Pa dallim krahine e feje. Disa syresh e paguan me jetën e tyre, po asnjë hebre për be nuk e dorëzuan tek nazistët. Falë nderit të tyre shqiptar, Shqipëria u bë vendi i vetëm i Europës që pati më shumë hebrenj pas Luftës së Dytë se sa para nisjes së saj.
      Përpara disa vitesh, ne strehuam në Shqipëri mbi dymijë njerëz që përndiqen nga regjimi i ajatollahëve të Iranit. U shpëtuam jetën, duke i tërhequr nga i quajturi, Camp Liberty, në Irak, ku sulmoheshin prej shërbimit sekret iranian e thereshin të gjallë. Dhe e vërteta, ndryshe nga ç’jashtënxorri çisterna e mexhelisit të korruptuar mediatik të Tiranës, është se askush nuk na e vuri litarin në fyt, përkundrazi.
      Qeveria e mëparshme kishte marrë mbi njëqind syresh prej tyre, me kërkesë të qeverisë amerikane dhe nder i kishte bërë vetes e këtij vendi. Më pas ne morëm afro treqind të tjerë. Mirëpo përtej moralit në vetvete të kësaj fabule njerëzore, ca shqipo mendjefikur e harrojnë se ne jemi kahera aleatë të Shteteve të Bashkuara, jo vetëm kur na duhen për hallet tona, siç na u deshën bombat e tyre për t’u mbrojtur nga spastrimi etnik i Sllobodan Millosheviçit ; siç na u desh zëri i tyre i superfuqishëm për ta hapur rrugën e pavarësisë së Kosovës apo për ta anëtarësuar Shqipërinë në NATO ; siç na duhet gjithnjë mbështetja e tyre për të forcuar pozitat tona kombëtare e shtetërore, po edhe kur ne u duhemi atyre ndonjëherë, jo për t’i shpëtuar ata siç ata na kanë shpëtuar ne në kthesa historike, por për t’u gjendur në krah të tyre kur edhe ata, ja që ndodh, kanë nevojë për diçka të vogël prej nesh.
      Por ata qindra iranianë të ardhur me kërkesë të aleatëve amerikanë, u bënë mbi dymijë jo me insistimin amerikan, po me kërkesën tonë drejtuar miqve tanë të mëdhenj ! Po po, e lexuat tamam, pjesën e madhe të iranianëve në rrezik për jetën të mbetur në mëshirë të fatit e kërkuam ne, pas një masakre të llahtarshme atje në Camp Liberty, ku u vranë me dhjetra, mes të cilëve plot gra e fëmijë.
      Dhe për ta mbyllur këtë pjesë, pyetja ime është : Çfarë problemi u kanë krijuar sharësve e mallkuesve pa din e as iman të rrjeteve sociale, ata njerëz të shkretë, që rrinë mbyllur dhe jetojnë me hallin e tyre e me paratë e tyre, në zonën e banuar të ndërtuar po me fondet e tyre diku në periferi të Tiranës ?
      Zero probleme.
      Tani le të vijmë tek lajmi i parmbrëmshëm se Amerika kërkon të sjellë përkohësisht në Shqipëri e në Kosovë, afganë të shkretë që vetëm pse u rreshtuan me NATO-n e ndihmuan ushtarët tanë në misionin e tyre paqeruajtës, rrezikojnë të theren si kafshë nga talebanët. Menjëherë pas daljes së lajmit, qysh dje në mëngjes, ka nisur të hidhet përpjetë llumi njerëzor i rrjeteve sociale, me sharjet e mallkimet e shqipes së vet bazike me 100 fjalë - edhe ato të shkruara për ibret - me të cilat mbron me zjarrin e padijes detin nga greku, dheun nga serbi, ajrin nga armiku imagjinar i radhës, duke shpërfaqur krejt egërsinë e injorancës, në emër të një kinse patriotizmi mu si ai i talebanëve, të cilët tjetrin, të ndryshmin e këdo mendon si ai, e konsiderojnë një armik që duhet asgjësuar, sakatuar e poshtëruar, vetëm pse as nuk është i verbër si ata, as nuk friket nga helmi i kafshimit të tyre.
      Nuk e di nëse amerikanët i kanë kërkuar edhe Kosovës të strehojë afganët që u ekspozuan si miq dhe mbështetës të ushtrive aleate ; uroj që në rast se po, qeveria e Kosovës të përgjigjet pozitivisht, për nderin e saj e të Kosovës sigurisht. Por bëj me dije se në Samitin e NATO-s isha unë që e ngrita këtë shqetësim, për jetët e bashkëpunëtorëve afganë të Aleancës pas tërheqjes së saj nga Afganistani. Madje iu referova si shembull eksperiencës tragjike të kundërshtarëve të regjimit komunist në vendin tonë, që vrau, burgosi, torturoi, shkatërroi çdo armik të brendshëm pasi triumfoi mbi armiqtë e jashtëm dhe mbylli totalisht Shqipërinë, siç do të bëjnë së shpejti tanimë, talebanët me Afganistanin.
      Thashë në samit se pas tërheqjes së ushtrive të saj, bashkësia e qytetërimit demokratik të NATO-s nuk mund t’i lerë në mëshirën e barbarëve triumfatorë, njerëzit e ekspozuar si mbështetës të afërt të misioneve paqeruajtëse atje. Dhe nënvizova me gojën plot, se Shqipëria ishte e gatshme të merrte pjesën e saj të barrës, të cilën të gjitha vendet e NATO-s duhet ta ndajnë mes tyre. Kjo është bindja ime, jo vetëm si njeri i një populli që ka shpëtuar hebrenjtë nga nazistët e shekullit të XX, po edhe si kryeministër i një vendi që i njeh mirë të dyja anët e medaljes, qoftë kur të lënë vetëm në duart e një regjimi xhelatësh në atdheun tënd, qoftë kur kërkon një jetë të re si i huaj në vendet e të tjerëve.
      Eshtë e vërtetë po, se ditët e fundit qeveria amerikane i ka kërkuar Shqipërisë të vlerësojë nëse mund të shërbejë si një vend tranzit, për një numër të caktuar emigrantësh politikë afganë, të cilët destinacion fundor kanë Shtetet e Bashkuara. Dhe padiskutim që ne nuk do të themi jo, e jo thjesht pse na e kërkojnë aleatët tanë të mëdhenj, po sepse ne jemi Shqipëria ! Shqipëria është shtëpia e shqiptarit që as me Kanun, as me Zakon, e as me Moral po të doni, nuk ua përplas derën në fytyrë të panjohurve që trokasin për mbrojtje. Ne nuk jemi të pasur, por s’jemi as pa kujtesë, as pa zakone, as pa moral dhe është në nderin tonë t’u gjendemi të tjerëve, siç të tjerë na janë gjendur ne, po sidomos të mos u kthejmë kurrizin hallexhinjve të huaj, siç shpesh na e kthyen ne dikur, kur ishim të huaj hallexhinj. Kjo është arsyeja morale pse ende pa ardhur kërkesa e qeverisë amerikane, ne kemi mikpritur dy kërkesa prej dy institucionesh shoqërore shumë të respektueshme përtej oqeanit, për të vlerësuar strehimin e përkohshëm në Shqipëri të disa qindra personave, nga rrethet intelektuale dhe të grave aktiviste afgane, të cilët janë nga të parët në listat e ekzekutimeve të barbarëve të Afganistanit.
      Kujt nuk është dakord me gjithë sa thashë për këtë lajm, i them me keqardhje se kjo nuk e ndryshon qëndrimin tim e të shumicës qeverisëse në emër të Shqipërisë. Shqipëria nuk është e salltanetit të atyre që hidhen për të në flakën e ndezur nga egërsia dhe padija e kinse patriotizmit, por është e amanetit shekullor të mikpritjes së të panjohurve në rrezik🇦🇱

      https://www.facebook.com/edirama.al/posts/10158954065891523

    • L’Albanie et le Kosovo vont accueillir « plusieurs milliers » de réfugiés d’Afghanistan

      L’Albanie et le Kosovo ont confirmé mener des négociations secrètes avec les États-Unis pour accueillir « plusieurs milliers » de ressortissants d’Afghanistan qui ont collaboré avec les forces américaines, le temps que soit examinée leur demande d’asile.

      (Avec Radio Slobodna Evropa et Top Chanel TV) - Le gouvernement du Kosovo a confirmé qu’il travaillait « depuis la mi-juillet » avec les autorités américaines pour élaborer un plan permettant d’accueillir des Afghans qui ont collaboré avec les États-Unis. Luan Dalipi, chef de cabinet du Premier ministre Albin Kurti, a confirmé à Radio Free Europe (RFE) que les pourparlers « se concluaient positivement ». « Il faut régler beaucoup de questions logistiques, techniques, sécuritaires et sociales. Nous agissons avec prudence. Les États-Unis sont notre allié et partenaire stratégique. »

      La Présidente du Kosovo, Vjosa Osmani, a également confirmé qu’elle avait été contactée par l’ambassadeur américain à Pristina, Philip Kosnett, qui lui a fait part de la demande du Président Joe Biden que le Kosovo puisse accueillir temporairement des civils afghans. Elle a expliqué que le Kosovo avait accepté cette « sans aucune hésitation et sans aucune condition ». « Les ressortissants afghans devront passer par un processus d’évaluation sécuritaire, ils ne resteront que temporairement au Kosovo, jusqu’à ce que leurs documents d’immigration aux États-Unis soient établis », a précisé Vjosa Osmani.

      Le 13 août, l’agence Reuters avait annoncé que le gouvernement américain menait des négociations secrètes avec l’Albanie et le Kosovo pour trouver un hébergement temporaire pour des Afghans qui ont coopéré avec les forces américaines en Afghanistan. Les sources de Reuters assurent que les États-Unis offriraient au Kosovo des avantages économiques et politiques en contrepartie de l’accueil de plusieurs milliers d’Afghans. Cependant, des diplomates américains auraient exprimé des inquiétudes quant aux capacités du Kosovo à mener à bien cette mission.
      Le précédent des Moudjahidines du peuple en Albanie

      Alors que les talibans sont rapidement en train de reprendre le contrôle de tout l’Afghanistan, de nombreux Afghans qui ont coopéré avec les forces internationales craignent des représailles. Le département d’État américain a annoncé un programme qui permettra à des milliers d’Afghans de s’installer aux États-Unis en tant que réfugiés. Cependant, ils doivent d’abord être placés dans un pays tiers, où ils séjourneront pendant « douze à quatorze mois », le temps de l’analyse de leur demande de visa américain.

      Le Premier ministre d’Albanie Edi Rama a également confirmé dimanche 15 août qu’elle avait répondu positivement à la demande des États-Unis, et que son pays allait accueillir « quelques centaines » de réfugiés afghans. L’Albanie accueille déjà plusieurs milliers de moudjahidines du peuple d’Iran, évacués depuis leurs bases situées en Irak. Ils sont arrivés en Albanie en 2013 et 2014. Le camp d’Ashraf-3, situé près de Durrës, accueille plus de 3000 membres de l’organisation.

      https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/Albanie-Kosovo-vont-accueillir-refugies-d-afghanistan

    • Balkan Countries Offer Refuge to Afghans After Taliban Takeover

      After Taliban forces swept to power in Afghanistan, governments in Albania, Kosovo and North Macedonia have accepted a US request to offer temporary refuge to some political refugees who are fleeing the country in fear of retaliation.

      Albania, Kosovo and North Macedonia have expressed readiness to temporarily host an undefined number of Afghans fleeing their country after Taliban forces seized control over the weekend as the United States pulled out.

      “It is true that in recent days, US government has asked Albania to assess if we could serve as a transit country for a certain number of Afghan political migrants, which have US as the final destination. And undoubtedly we will not say no, not only because our allies are asking this, but because we are Albania,” Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said in a statement on Facebook on Sunday.

      The final destination for the refugees, who fear retaliation from the Taliban because they cooperated with NATO forces in Afghanistan, is the US. Their number is so far unknown.

      Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani also confirmed that her country agreed to the request to give temporary safe haven refugees “without any hesitation”.

      “Kosovo respects the international right and obligation to not close the door to refugees,” Osmani said.

      The Kosovo government said that discussions with the US government over hosting the refugees started in mid-July.

      Luan Dalipi, chief of staff of Kosovo’s Prime Minister Albin Kurti, told BIRN that since then, the government has been in “constant communication and cooperation” with the US authorities.

      “There are many logistical, technical, security and social issues we are carefully addressing. The US is our main ally and our strategic partner,” Dalipi said.

      North Macedonia’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev told media on Sunday that his country will accept civilians from Afghanistan who need evacuation and that they will be allowed to stay in the country until a more permanent solution is found for them.

      “With the aim of saving the lives of the local population [in Afghanistan], we have informed the US that we are ready to accept civilians from Afghanistan who over the past 20 years have been working for peace in that country, who were the local support for the allied NATO troops, including our forces, including activists from the humanitarian and human rights organisations,” Zaev said.

      He said that North Macedonia could accommodate the refugees in hotels and resorts, and that the financial cost for this accommodation, until a more permanent solution is found, will be covered by the US.

      “We are a country of solidarity. Our people and our society have always given support and help, the same way we have been receiving help during major catastrophes,” Zaev said.

      Washington wants to evacuate thousands of people from Afghanistan and has been seeking other countries to host them temporarily while their papers for entering the US are finalised.

      Adrian Shtuni, a Washington-based foreign policy and security specialist, told BIRN that Tirana and Pristina’s move to shelter Afghans was “as much a sign of moral leadership and humanitarian compassion as it is a confirmation that Albanians are reliable partners of the United States”.

      “The main concerns associated with refugee relocations are often related to potential security risks and financial costs. From a security perspective, there’s no reason to believe the contingent of Afghan refugees would present a risk. These are interpreters and contractors (as well as family members) employed by the US Military, waiting to be issued Special Immigration Visas by the US State Department. They are not former fighters or militants,” Shtuni said.

      Adrian Shtuni said that both Albania and Kosovo will not be burdened by hosting the Afghans because “the refugee contingent will be a few hundred people and nor Albania neither Kosovo are intended as their final destination the financial costs will be contained”.

      The chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Menendez, welcomed Albania’s decision to give temporary safe haven to the Afghans.

      “The people of Albania are once again showing the world what ‘BESA’ [‘word of honour’ in Albanian] means. You have our respect and thanks,” Menendez wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

      https://balkaninsight.com/2021/08/16/balkan-countries-offer-refuge-to-afghans-after-taliban-takeover

      #Macédoine_du_Nord

    • Les premiers Afghans exfiltrés par les États-Unis sont arrivés en Albanie et au Kosovo

      Un premier groupe de 111 réfugiés afghans exfiltrés par les États-Unis est arrivé dimanche soir au Kosovo. Un autre groupe de 121 réfugiés était arrivé vendredi matin en Albanie. Ils doivent séjourner temporairement dans ces pays jusqu’à ce qu’ils obtiennent leur visa américain.

      (#paywall)

      https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/Les-premiers-Afghans-exfiltres-par-les-Etats-Unis-arrivent-en-Alb

    • Quand l’Afghanistan était une manne financière pour les Kosovars

      Les États-Unis ont demandé au Kosovo d’abriter des Afghans devant quitter leur pays pour des raisons de sécurité. Pristina a aussitôt accepté. Les Kosovars connaissent en effet bien l’Afghanistan : depuis 2001, des milliers d’entre eux ont travaillé pour des #contractants américains dans la reconstruction du pays.

      Traduit par Belgzim Kamberi (article original : https://www.koha.net/veshtrime/284704/kur-afganistani-ishte-parajse-financiare-per-kosovaret). Depuis la prise du pouvoir par les talibans en Afghanistan, le Kosovo est l’un des rares pays à qui les États-Unis ont demandé d’abriter un certain nombre d’Afghans devant quitter le pays pour des raisons de sécurité. Pristina a accepté. Même si l’on ne sait pas encore combien de personne cela représente, la nouvelle semble avoir été bien accueillie par l’opinion publique.

      Cela n’est pas une surprise. Depuis 2001, les Kosovars ont développé des liens avec l’Afghanistan. Ils sont notamment des milliers à avoir travaillé à la reconstruction du pays, recevant pendant des années des salaires de différents contractants américains. Selon un rapport de l’Institut GAP publié en novembre 2011, 7000 à 8000 Kosovars ont été engagés entre 2001 et 2011 sur différents chantiers en tant que chauffeurs, mécaniciens, ou occupaient d’autres emplois physiques...

      Les Kosovars ont été principalement engagés par les entreprises américaines #Fluor_Group, #Dyncorp_International et #Kellogg_Brown & Root, les même qui étaient chargées de la construction de la #base_militaire américaine #Bondsteel, près de #Ferizaj, au Kosovo. Cette base employait entre 2000 et 2500 Kosovars au début des années 2000. Il n’est donc pas étonnant que ces contractants aient fait appel aux services des Kosovars pour leurs missions en Afghanistan.

      Des millions d’euros pour l’#économie kosovare

      En Afghanistan, le salaire de base annuel pour les ressortissants des pays en développement, dont font partie les pays des Balkans, se situait en effet entre 14 800 et 29 700 dollars. Pour l’économie kosovare, cela a représenté 50 à 55 millions d’euros de rentrées annuelles, soit plus d’un demi-milliard d’euros sur la période 2001-2011. La plus grande partie des #travailleurs_kosovars en Afghanistan provenait de la région de Ferizaj (56%), de Pristina (21%) et Gjilan (19%).

      Les revenus depuis l’Afghanistan n’étaient pas considérés comme des rémittences (les fonds envoyés au pays par les émigrés) par la Banque centrale du Kosovo. Mais si on les compare avec les rémittences envoyées d’autres pays, l’Afghanistan se rangeait tout de suite après l’Allemagne et la Suisse.

      Le travail là-bas n’était pourtant pas sans danger. De 2001 à 2011, 78 595 travailleurs employés par des contractants américains ont été blessés sur leur lieu de travail et 2871 y ont perdu la vie. Les Kosovars n’ont pas été épargnés. En octobre 2004, Shqipe Hebibi, qui travaillait pour le bureau des Nations-Unies en Afghanistan, a été kidnappée, avant d’être libérée un mois plus tard. En octobre 2011, une employée originaire de Ferizaj a perdu la vie. On ne connaît pas le nombre de travailleurs kosovars blessés en Afghanistan ces dernières années. Selon les informations de Pristina, seuls trois Kosovars étaient présents en Afghanistan quand le pays est tombé aux mains des talibans. Deux d’entre aux auraient réussi de sortir du pays.

      https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/Quand-l-Afghanistan-etait-un-paradis-financier-pour-les-kosovares

    • Afghanistan : les témoignages des premiers évacués transférés en Albanie

      Ils sont arrivés à Tirana dans la nuit de vendredi à samedi. Les premiers 121 réfugiés afghans ont été provisoirement installés dans les bâtiments de la Cité universitaire. En quittant Kaboul, ils ne savaient pas qu’ils partaient pour l’Albanie...

      Témoignages.

      Je travaillais pour le ministère de l’Agriculture dans le cadre d’un projet financé par USAID. J’étais responsable de la communication. J’ai un master de la Khazak American Free University et plus de treize ans d’expérience, mais je ne sais pas si mon diplôme sera encore reconnu quelque part. J’avais un bon travail, un bon salaire, tout se passait bien. Maintenant, je ne sais pas si je vais devoir travailler comme serveur quelque part, ou bien comme chauffeur Uber. Ma vie a été bouleversée », raconte Ahmad [Tous les noms ont été modifiés, NDLR], l’un de ces premiers réfugiés afghans arrivés en Albanie. « J’avais encore de l’espoir. Je pense que la jeunesse avait le devoir d’aider l’Afghanistan à se développer, mais nous n’avions plus d’autre choix que de partir ». La fuite n’a pourtant pas été facile. Ahmad et sa famille, comme beaucoup d’autres, ont dû attendre des heures, voire des jours, pour pénétrer dans l’aéroport de Kaboul, où des milliers de personnes se pressaient pour s’échapper.

      39 de ces premiers Afghans venus en Albanie sont d’anciens employés du ministère de l’Agriculture, qui travaillaient sur un projet américain mené en partenariat avec l’Université du Michigan. Leur évacuation a été bien organisée. « Il était difficile d’embarquer à bord d’un avion même avec un visa valide », raconte toutefois Ali, la quarantaine. « Mais nos amis et nos collègues américains nous ont aidés. Une fois dans l’avion, la vie semblait à nouveau simple. »

      Avant de partir, ils ne savaient pas qu’ils allaient venir en Albanie. La destination leur a été communiquée deux ou trois heures avant le décollage. De toute façon, leur but était de monter dans un avion, quelle qu’en soit la destination. « Quand je suis parti, ma dignité ne comptait plus. À l’aéroport, nous dormions au milieu des poubelles. Cela n’aurait pas dû se passer comme cela, nous sommes tous des êtres humains… On a des sentiments », confie Ahmad, au bord des larmes.

      Les réfugiés arrivés samedi 28 août ont été accueillis par la ministre des Affaires étrangères, Olta Xhaçka, et par l’ambassadrice des États-Unis en Albanie. De l’aéroport, ils ont été immédiatement amenés dans les bâtiments 11 et 12 de la Cité universitaire de Tirana. C’est là qu’ils seront logés jusqu’à nouvel ordre.

      “Parmi les choses déconseillée : parler aux journalistes. Et la recommandation ne valait pas seulement pour les Afghans.”

      « Même dans mon propre pays, je n’avais pas cette possibilité d’atterrir à l’aéroport, de monter directement dans un bus et de m’en aller », explique Ali. L’enregistrement des documents s’est déroulé durant la matinée de samedi. Des employés municipaux ont accompagnés les réfugiés pendant presque toute la journée, leur montrant où aller et leur donnant des indications sur ce qu’ils devaient faire. Parmi les choses déconseillée : parler aux journalistes. Et la recommandation ne valait pas seulement pour les Afghans, la direction de la Cité universitaire et la municipalité n’étant pas plus ouvertes à la communication.

      L’enregistrement à la police était plutôt simple, ne durant souvent pas plus d’une demi-heure. Les gens qui ne possédaient pas de passeport du tout, un passeport périmé ou bien juste le tazkira, la pièce d’identité afghane, ont été mis en relation avec la police. « Je n’ai pas d’informations particulières, mais si l’on croit les rumeurs qui courent parmi les évacués, les pays tiers comme l’Albanie facilitent les visites à l’ambassade afghane pour pouvoir récupérer nos passeports et recevoir le visa américain », explique Ahmad. Ses enfants n’ont pas de documents d’identité. Ahmad espère recevoir le précieux visa américain dans les vingt prochains jours. En général, les réfugiés afghans ne veulent pas rester en Albanie, mais partir pour les États-Unis ou vers d’autres pays européens.

      Obligés de ne prendre qu’un petit sac à main à leur embarquement à Kaboul, les réfugiés n’ont presque pas de vêtements de rechange et, le plus souvent, pas un sou dans les poches. En collaboration avec les États-Unis, le gouvernement albanais va aider ces personnes à satisfaire leurs besoins fondamentaux. Vers 15h, une liste de tout ce dont les réfugiés avaient besoin a été dressée. « On a rempli des formulaires, mais ils n’ont pas pris nos mesures... Je ne sais pas quel genre de vêtements ils vont m’apporter », plaisante Ahmad.

      Malgré la présence de soignants, la seule assistance médicale reçue jusqu’à présent a été le test de dépistage de la Covid-19. Les réfugiés n’ont pas encore été invités à consulter une cellule d’aide psychologique. Mal renseignés sur ce qu’il leur ait ou non permis de faire, ces derniers essaient de ne pas s’éloigner de la petite rue qui relie les bâtiments où ils sont logés au bureau de la police. Ils ne veulent pas créer de problèmes et tiennent à faire bonne impression aux Albanais. Préoccupés par le sort de la famille qu’ils ont laissée derrière eux et de la situation en Afghanistan, où ils aimeraient revenir un jour, leur but est dans l’immédiat de savoir où ils vont pouvoir s’installer pour commencer une nouvelle vie.

      https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/Afghanistan-temoignages-premiers-evacues-Albanie

    • The fact that the Afghan refugees who were evacuated by NATO and who are currently in Kosovo, have been in detention since their arrival, speaks of the fact that the human rights of refugees from Afghanistan are constantly being violated. Namely, the refugees are housed inside two camps, Camp Bechtel and Camp Lyia, and according to a spokesman for the US Embassy in Kosovo, the refugees were not allowed to move freely outside the camps to protect the safety of them and other Kosovo citizens. It should be noted that these are not the first Afghan refugees in Kosovo. Refugees who go through the so-called Balkan route also come to Kosovo and meantime have the right to move freely. What is even more worrying is the kind of limbo in which the evacuated refugees currently are. It is still unclear how visas will be granted, or what types of visas will be obtained. If the rule of restriction of movement is maintained until people are granted visas, the question arises as to how will they access services, health care, education, especially bearing in mind that the duration of this process is unknown.

      Reçu via la mailing-list Inicijativa Dobrodosli, du 24.09.2021

    • Afghan evacuees in Kosovo de facto detained

      The first group of Afghan evacuees landed in Kosovo on August 29 following a chaotic airport evacuation in the wake of the United States’ abrupt exit from Afghanistan after 20 years of war. These Afghans’ futures are unclear, as is their present situation. But one thing is clear: they aren’t being granted the right to move freely.

      In fact, it is easier for an Afghan asylum seeker who arrived in Kosovo through the difficult Balkan route to move about the country. Once in Kosovo such an asylum seeker can request asylum, with or without identification. They will be offered basic amenities, an identification card, and, notably, the freedom to move in and out of the asylum housing complex.

      But this is not the case for the approximately 1,000 Afghans brought by NATO into Kosovo as part of an international effort to offer safe haven to thousands who fear persecution after the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan.

      On August 16 Kosovo’s government approved a decision offering Afghan evacuees — largely U.S. visa applicants, former NATO contractors and their families — temporary protection, a form of immediate protection different from the refugee status recognized in the Law on Asylum. Persons under temporary protection enjoy clearly defined rights, such as the right to schooling, healthcare and freedom of movement.

      The government’s decision specifies that freedom of movement may be restricted if considered necessary, and that a verification process will be put in place for issues of national security.

      Since arriving, the evacuees have been housed at two camps referred to as Camp Bechtel and Camp Liya, located on the premises of the Bechtel Enka company and inside the U.S. military base Bondsteel. NATO’s international command is running Camp Bechtel and the U.S. is running Camp Liya inside Bondsteel.

      As of yet, there has been no public information provided about the living conditions of these Afghan evacuees, a contrast to other countries, including some in the region, where journalists have been granted access to speak directly to arriving refugees.

      The Ministry of Internal Affairs has declined to answer K2.0’s questions on the matter, while the minister of Internal Affairs, Xhelal Sveçla, gave few details during a recent press conference. When asked about the evacuees’ freedom of movement, Sveçla said that movement outside the camp would be organized only if necessary, noting apparent security concerns.

      Neither NATO nor the Ministry of Internal Affairs have granted media access to the Afghan evacuees’ living conditions, while the government of Kosovo has not formally asked international organizations working in this field to assist.

      The government insists that the U.S. and NATO have promised a quick operation with Kosovo only functioning as a transit country. NATO spokesperson Jason Salata said that “Camp Bechtel is a temporary lodging until they identify follow-on resettlement options.”

      A first group of 117 NATO-affiliated Afghan evacuees departed Camp Bechtel for the UK on September 16.

      Government spokesperson Perparim Kryeziu told K2.0 that Kosovo’s legal framework guarantees freedom of movement, but he noted it also foresees specific cases where restrictions are allowed.

      “At the moment, we are in the process of providing Afghan citizens with all necessary documents,” said Kryeziu. “Due to this and also taking into consideration their own safety for the moment they are free to move within their hosting facilities. However, we expect them to have the opportunity to move freely outside these facilities in the near future following the finalization of documents and other needed administrative procedures.”

      The law on asylum specifies cases in which freedom of movement can be restricted for persons under international protection. It also says that each individual must be given the right to complain about their restriction of movement, and in the case of children, it also states that detention should be only a last measure.

      A spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy in Kosovo agreed to respond to K2.0’s questions on the issue only after specifically designated “U.S.-affiliated” evacuees arrived on September 13.

      The embassy spokesperson said that “to ensure the health and safety of both Afghan guests and Kosovan hosts, the Government of Kosovo has stated that Afghans being temporarily hosted at Camp Liya must remain within the boundaries of the facility while U.S. interagency teams work to complete processing for their eventual admission to the United States or resettlement in a third country.”

      The spokesperson also said that U.S. law enforcement members arrived in Kosovo to screen and vet all U.S.-affiliated Afghan “travelers” before they are allowed into the United States.

      According to the embassy spokesperson, who referred to the Afghans as travelers, all Afghans currently hosted at Camp Liya have already transited through other third countries since leaving Afghanistan, where they received initial biometric and medical screenings.

      Who’s in charge?

      Human rights experts are having difficulty accessing knowledge about the condition of Afghan evacuees in Kosovo.

      Jelena Sesar, Amnesty International’s researcher for the Balkans and the EU, said that the lack of information about the status of the facilities or the management of the camps makes it hard to monitor any potential human rights violations.

      “Under normal circumstances, the temporary protection status would guarantee people full freedom of movement on the territory of Kosovo, food, clothes, access to health and education, and a range of other support services,” said Sesar. “This does not seem to be the case here. Afghan nationals in Bechtel-Enka and Bondsteel are not allowed to go out and media and humanitarian organizations do not seem to have access to the camps.”

      While the government of Kosovo created the legal framework for temporary protection, the outsized role of NATO and the U.S. in the management of camps and processing of Afghans makes it unclear what role, if any, the government of Kosovo has in activities occurring within its own borders.

      “If these Afghan families are to remain in Kosovo until their Special Immigrant Visas are processed, which can take a very long time for some applicants, it is essential that Kosovo’s authorities assume full responsibility for the management of the camps and ensure that the protection needs of the people there are fully met, as required by law,” Sesar said.

      “This entails full freedom of movement and access to health, education and other support, as well as access to asylum procedures in Kosovo,” she said. “If the current approach doesn’t change, these people would be subjected to an indefinite confinement and a de-facto detention, which would be contrary to Kosovo’s and international law.”

      Unanswered questions

      In early September the Associated Press, citing an anonymous U.S. government source, reported that Kosovo has agreed to take in Afghans who fail to clear initial rounds of screening and host them for up to a year, raising questions about potential reasons behind restrictions on evacuees’ freedom of movement.

      The temporary protection provided by Kosovo has a limit of one year with the possibility of extension, according to the Law on Asylum.

      The AP’s reporting shows the conditions established at other transit sites like in Germany or Italy, where the authorities are given a two week deadline to complete the verification and processing of evacuees.

      According to the government source the AP spoke to, transferring Afghans to Kosovo who do not pass the initial screening is a response to potential gaps in security that may have occurred during the chaotic evacuation from Afghanistan.

      There is a rising use of transit countries in the asylum process. Countries like the United Kingdom and Denmark proposed legislation to send asylum seekers to third countries while their applications are processed, something that human rights advocates and international organizations like the United Nations have criticized.

      The evacuations out of the Kabul airport were chaotic and deadly, leaving the world with terrible images, such as the footage of bodies plummeting from the sky after people attempted to cling to the exterior of a U.S. military plane. In the chaos of the last days of the evacuation, two suicide bombers and gunmen at the airport led to the deaths of 60 Afghans and 13 U.S. troops.

      The people who made it onto the planes in the midst of this chaos are considered the lucky ones. But many of those who were evacuated were already in the process of migrating to the U.S.

      The Afghan evacuees awaiting entry into the U.S. and other affiliated countries are largely people who had already started the Special Immigrant Visa process as well as applicants for a special U.S. refugee program. They are former contractors who worked with international governments as well as in vulnerable professions such as journalists, as well as these peoples’ families.

      Neither NATO nor the government of Kosovo have responded to K2.0’s questions submitted about the AP’s report.

      The U.S. Embassy in Kosovo published a statement saying that such reports may leave people with the “incorrect impression” that the U.S. is sending to Kosovo individuals they deem inadmissible. The statement insists, “this is not the case,” and says that American officials in Kosovo are assisting in the processing of applicants who may require additional paperwork in order to clarify “an applicant’s identity, employment history or other ties to the United States.”

      “Afghan travelers being temporarily hosted at Camp Liya are in the process of having their paperwork and eligibilities confirmed for eventual admission to the United States or resettlement to a third country,” a U.S. embassy spokesperson told K2.0. “None have been deemed inadmissible to the United States because their cases are still being processed.”

      On the matter of how long the process may take, the spokesperson said that “under the agreement with the Government of Kosovo, U.S.-affiliated Afghan travelers may shelter at Camp Liya for up to a year while their cases are being processed for eventual admission to the United States or resettlement in a third country. However, individuals may be approved for travel to the United States sooner, as soon as their processing is complete.”

      On September 10, the minister of Internal Affairs met with representatives of international organizations who could provide assistance, but the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Organization for Migration have not yet received a formal request to assist in the operation.

      The IOM and UNHCR in Kosovo could only tell K2.0 that they are monitoring the situation closely. Sources from these organizations said that they have little information about the Afghan evacuees and remain on standby awaiting a request for assistance from the government.

      According to Amnesty International’s Sesar, “the inaccessibility of the camps to independent and public scrutiny raises concerns about the conditions in these facilities as well as the commitment to genuinely assist Afghans who had to flee their country.”

      The situation is no clearer for Jeff Crisp, international migration expert from the Refugee Studies Centre at Oxford University. “The rapid evacuation from Kabul has certainly left many questions unanswered,” said Crisp via email to K2.0, who offered a number of questions that can be used to hold institutions accountable.

      “How were decisions made with respect to the temporary locations to which they have been sent? What will happen to any refugees who are ‘screened out’ by the U.S., is there a risk that they could become stateless, or be sent back to Afghanistan?”

      Millions displaced

      The long war in Afghanistan has displaced an enormous number of people. It is estimated by UNHCR that only in the first half of 2021 more than half a million people were newly displaced in Afghanistan, while 3 million were displaced in 2020.

      Afghans have often taken the long refugee journey far into Europe, across the Balkans. Despite not being a key country on the Balkan refugee route, Kosovo registered 31 Afghan asylum seekers in the first half of 2021, while many others pass through unnoticed and uncounted, continuing their journey to seek asylum further on in other European countries.

      After the U.S. exit from Afghanistan and the Taliban takeover, the Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner Dunja Mijatovic published an advisory, asking members and cooperative third countries to stop any forced returns for Afghans who saw their asylum requests rejected and had not yet been deported, and asked states to offer asylum to Afghans forced to flee and to cooperate in protecting their rights.

      https://kosovotwopointzero.com/en/afghan-evacuees-in-kosovo-de-facto-detained


    • https://twitter.com/CdBalkans/status/1444193687144120322

      Kosovo : #camps_fermés pour les Afghans évacués

      Le 16 août dernier, alors que Kaboul venait de tomber entre les mains des Talibans, le Kosovo a accepté d’accueillir sur son sol 2000 Afghans nécessitant d’être évacués. Aujourd’hui, personne ne sait combien sont réellement arrivés. Selon les informations disponibles, environ un millier seraient aujourd’hui hébergés au Kosovo.

      Les autorités de Pristina se sont engagées à leur offrir une « protection temporaire », différente du statut de réfugié, mais censée leur donner un accès à la scolarisation et aux soins, et leur garantir la liberté de mouvement. Or, il semble qu’aucun de ces droits ne soit respecté. Les informations restent confidentielles et les journalistes ne sont pas autorisés à visiter les deux camps d’accueil, l’un se trouvant sur un site appartenant au conglomérat turco-américain Bechtel-Enka, l’autre dans la controversée base américaine de Bondsteel. Les travailleurs humanitaires n’ont pas de permis pour opérer auprès de ces Afghans et ni le Haut Commissariat des Nations unies pour les réfugiés (UNHCR), ni l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM) ne sont impliqués dans la gestion de leur situation.

      Pour justifier un tel isolement, le gouvernement d’Albin Kurti met en avant des questions de « sécurité nationale » et souligne que la liberté de mouvement des personnes bénéficiant de la protection temporaire peut être restreinte si nécessaire. Le ministre de l’Intérieur Xhelal Sveçla a tenu une conférence de presse, mais s’est montré avare en détails. C’est tout juste s’il a reconnu que les déplacements à l’extérieur des camps ne seraient organisés qu’en cas d’extrême nécessité. Un processus de vérification, des identités notamment, a été mis en place pour des questions de sécurité nationale, a-t-il indiqué.

      Le Kosovo n’est « qu’un pays de transit » pour ces Afghans avant qu’ils ne soient accueillis dans un pays tiers, insistent les autorités. « Le camp Bechtel est un hébergement temporaire jusqu’à ce que soient identifiées des options de réinstallation ultérieures », a confirmé le porte-parole de l’Otan, Jason Salata. Le 16 septembre, 117 Afghans ayant travaillé pour l’Otan ont ainsi pris la route du Royaume-Uni.

      Du côté de l’Ambassade des États-Unis, on explique que des policiers sont arrivés au Kosovo pour des opérations de contrôle des Afghans évacués afin de s’assurer qu’ils offrent toutes les garanties pour obtenir l’autorisation d’entrer sur le territoire américain.

      « Si l’approche actuelle ne change pas, ces personnes seraient soumises à un confinement indéfini et à une détention de facto, ce qui serait contraire au droit du Kosovo et au droit international », souligne Jelena Sesar, analyste à Amnesty International, interrogée par Kosovo 2.0. La protection temporaire fournie par le Kosovo est limitée à un an, avec possibilité de prolongation, conformément à la loi sur l’asile. Une durée particulièrement longue comparée à d’autres pays de transit, comme l’Allemagne ou l’Italie, où les autorités ne disposent que d’un délai de quinze jours pour opérer les vérifications nécessaires. Rappelons que la plupart des Afghans évacués aujourd’hui en transit avaient déjà entamé la procédure d’obtention de visas spéciaux en tant qu’anciens contractants pour des gouvernements étrangers ou des organisations internationales.

      « L’inaccessibilité des camps à un examen indépendant et public soulève des inquiétudes quant aux conditions de vie dans ces installations, de même qu’à l’engagement à aider véritablement les Afghans qui ont dû fuir leur pays », déplore Jelena Sesar.
      Dans des hôtels au bord de l’Adriatique

      Lorsque les premiers vols transportant des réfugiés afghans sont arrivés en Albanie, à la mi-août, le Premier ministre albanais avait été catégorique : aucun ne serait placé dans un camp de réfugiés, des installations qualifiées de « déshumanisantes » par Edi Rama. Sur Twitter, il avait alors publié deux images accolées, l’une montrant des centaines d’Afghans entassés dans un avion militaire américain à l’aéroport de Kaboul, l’autre des milliers d’Albanais prenant d’assaut un cargo, en 1991, après la chute du régime communiste.

      Très critiqué pour sa dérive autoritaire, Edi Rama a ici trouvé un moyen de se racheter une bonne image auprès des Occidentaux. À bon compte : personne ne sait combien Tirana a reçu d’aide de la part des États-Unis pour prendre en charge ces réfugiés. « Nous devons nous préparer aussi à ce que le financement des organisations américaines prenne fin », s’est contenté de dire le Premier ministre albanais, interrogé par Le Monde.

      Aujourd’hui, 700 Afghans sont hébergés dans des hôtels de la côte adriatique, surtout au nord de Tirana, entre Lezhe et Shëngjin. Des colis de bienvenue contenant des produits de première nécessité ont été préparés pour les nouveaux arrivants, des équipes de travailleurs humanitaires offrant une aide médicale et psychologique étaient sur place et, très vite, certains journalistes autorisés ont pu constater que les réfugiés étaient libres de se mêler aux clients habituels sur les plages et au bord des piscines des hôtels.

      Les Afghans vivant en Albanie ont obtenu le statut de « protection temporaire » pour un an, avec la possibilité d’une prolongation si nécessaire. Si leurs droits, notamment la liberté de mouvement, sont garantis par la loi albanaise sur l’asile, les autorités se sont toutefois réservé le droit de restreindre la liberté de mouvement de certaines personnes « si cela est jugé nécessaire, sur la base de l’évaluation individuelle de chaque cas ».

      Cet accueil n’est pas une première pour l’Albanie : depuis 2014, déjà à la demande de Washington, le pays accueille 3000 moudjahidines du peuple iranien, arrivés après le retrait des forces américaines d’Irak, où ces opposants radicaux au régime de Téhéran avaient été regroupés, ainsi que cinq Ouïgours sortis de Guantanamo en 2006.

      En Macédoine du Nord, les 200 Afghans arrivés à Skopje ont été logés dans plusieurs hôtels réquisitionnés autour de la capitale et un jeune homme homosexuel a même reçu l’autorisation d’être accueilli dans un refuge destiné aux personnes LGBT+. Si les médias ne peuvent pas accéder à ces sites, les ONG de défense des droits humains qui s’y sont rendues assurent qu’aucun signe de violations de leurs libertés individuelles n’est à déplorer.

      « Jusqu’à présent, nous n’avons pas reçu de plaintes suggérant que les droits de l’homme des réfugiés sont menacés », raconté à Balkan Insight Uranija Pirovska, la responsable du Comité Helsinki pour les droits de l’homme de Macédoine du Nord. « Nous avons pu visiter l’hôtel Bellevue [près de Skopje] et nous allons continuer à surveiller leur statut pendant leur séjour ici. » La présence policière est visible autour des centres d’accueil, mais la liberté de mouvement des Afghans n’est pas restreinte.

      https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/Afghans-evacues-en-camps-fermes-au-Kosovo-a-l-hotel-en-Albanie-et

      #hôtels

  • Mystery plans to redraw Balkan borders alarm leaders

    “Changing borders would mean opening Pandora’s box,” says Valentin Inzko.

    As international High Representative in Bosnia-Herzegovina his job is to keep the peace, which has endured since the Dayton Peace Agreement brought conflict to an end in 1995, after almost four years of fighting that cost around 100,000 lives.

    The cause of his consternation was a pair of unofficial documents suggesting some of the borders in the Balkans should be redrawn. The so-called #non-papers made the rounds in diplomatic circles, before being picked up by media in the Western Balkans.

    As far as Bosnia is concerned, its high representative is not about to entertain suggestions that the answer to its ongoing dysfunctionality would be to redraw its national boundaries.

    “If somebody likes to think about changing borders, he should first visit all military graves from France to Stalingrad,” he warns.

    The documents did not carry an author’s name. That’s in keeping with the unofficial nature of a non-paper, but the contents caused outrage across the region.

    Among their suggestions were:

    - A “peaceful dissolution” of Bosnia-Herzegovina, with Serbia and Croatia annexing much of its territory
    - Unification of Kosovo and Albania
    - The creation of an autonomous, majority ethnic-Serb region in northern Kosovo.

    It reads very much like an ethno-nationalist wish-list from the 1990s. And everyone remembers how that unfolded at the time.

    “People are worried. One of my employees was crying, she was really worried about these maps”
    Valentin Inzko, High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina

    “We are making a mistake if we think that frozen conflicts remain frozen forever,” says Mr Inzko. “You have seen in Nagorno-Karabakh and Palestine - frozen conflicts can break out at any time. This could also be the case in Bosnia and Herzegovina.”

    The non-papers affair has turned into a diplomatic whodunnit.

    Few people have had anything to say in support of the ideas they contain - except Bosnia’s senior ethnic-Serb politician, Milorad Dodik, who never misses a chance to push the idea of secession for the country’s majority ethnic-Serb region. Under the Dayton accords, the country was divided into a Bosniak-Croat Federation and Bosnian Serb Republic (Republika Srpska).

    - The town where neighbours won’t share a coffee
    - Land swap could bridge divide for Serbia and Kosovo
    - Capturing the Balkans 25 years after peace deal
    - Bosnia-Herzegovina: Country profile

    But the non-papers may not be the work of self-serving ultranationalists. Slovenia had to fight off suggestions that it was circulating the first document. And media in Kosovo described the second non-paper as a “Franco-German” proposal.

    James Ker-Lindsay, a Balkans expert at the London School of Economics, says “blue-sky thinking” is one way for European leaders to tackle the region’s seemingly intractable issues.

    “We can’t deny there are problems in the Western Balkans. There are two significant issues which have got to be resolved: the dispute between Serbia and Kosovo over Kosovo’s independence - and the deep-seated political dysfunctionality that exists in Bosnia.”

    “This has vexed policymakers for the last 15 years in both cases. So the idea that we would be looking at trying to come up with new approaches to this isn’t particularly unusual”
    James Ker-Lindsay, Balkans expert, LSE

    Nonetheless, Slovenia attempted to consign the non-papers to the waste bin at a meeting of regional leaders it hosted earlier this month. It proposed a declaration affirming the inviolability of current borders.

    But Serbia refused. President Aleksandar Vucic said his country recognised “the borders determined by the UN charter”. In other words, he was not about to sign a document that could be construed as recognition of Kosovo’s independence.

    After meeting Mr Vucic in Slovenia, Kosovo’s president, Vjosa Osmani, told the BBC that she was convinced Belgrade was behind the non-papers.

    “I had no doubts from the very beginning - it’s enough to just read the contents and to see what these non-papers try to push forward. The idea of border redrawing as something that could achieve peace in the region, when in fact it’s the opposite.”

    “If there is one thing the entire political spectrum in #Kosovo agrees on, it’s that border redrawing is completely unacceptable”
    Vjosa Osmani, Kosovo president

    Naturally, Serbia denies all knowledge and James Ker-Lindsay notes that there are “all sorts of confusion and conspiracy theories kicking in”.

    But with the end of his 12-year stint as high representative approaching, Valentin Inzko simply wants everyone to accept the borders as they are and focus on eventually coming together in the European Union.

    “The better idea would be to follow the example of Tyrol - one part is in Italy, another in Austria. But it is one region, with four freedoms and one currency.”

    But EU membership for Western Balkans countries will remain out of reach for years. And that means many more non-papers, whether mischievous or constructive, are bound to be written.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-57251677
    #projet #frontières #Balkans #cartes #différents_frontaliers #Bosnie #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Croatie #Serbie #Albanie #conflits #Milorad_Dodik #Republika_Srpska #République_serbe_de_Bosnie #nationalisme #paix

    ping @reka

  • Greece, ABR: The Greek government are building walls around the five mainland refugee camps

    The Greek government are building walls around the five mainland refugee camps, #Ritsona, #Polykastro, #Diavata, #Makakasa and #Nea_Kavala. Why this is necessary, and for what purpose, when the camps already are fenced in with barbed wire fences, is difficult to understand.
    “Closed controlled camps" ensuring that asylum seekers are cut off from the outside communities and services. A very dark period in Greece and in EU refugee Policy.
    Three meter high concrete walls, outside the already existing barbed wire fences, would makes this no different than a prison. Who are they claiming to protect with these extreme measures, refugees living inside from Greek right wing extremists, or people living outside from these “dangerous” men, women and children? We must remember that this is supposed to be a refugee camps, not high security prisons.
    EU agreed on financing these camps, on the condition that they should be open facilities, same goes for the new camps that are being constructed on the island. In reality people will be locked up in these prisons most of the day, only allowed to go out on specific times, under strict control, between 07.00-19.00. Remember that we are talking about families with children, and not criminals, so why are they being treated as such?
    While Greece are opening up, welcoming tourists from all over the world, they are locking up men, women and children seeking safety in Europe, in prisons behind barbed wire fences and concrete walls, out of sight, out of mind. When these new camps on the islands, financed by Europe are finished, they will also be fenced in by high concrete walls. Mark my words: nothing good will come of this!
    “From Malakasa, Nea Kavala, Polycastro and Diavata camps to the world!!
    “if you have find us silent against the walls,it doesn’t mean that we agree to live like prisoners,but in fact we are all afraid to be threaten,if we speak out and raise our voices!!”

    (https://twitter.com/parwana_amiri/status/1395593312460025858)

    https://www.facebook.com/AegeanBoatReport/posts/1088971624959274

    #murs #asile #migrations #réfugiés #camps_de_réfugiés #Grèce #camps_fermés #barbelés

    • "Ø double military-grade walls
      Ø restricted entrance and exit times (8am-8pm: itself a questionable suggestion: why should people be banned from going outside at any time of day or night? Under what possible justification?)
      Ø a CCTV system and video monitors
      Ø drone flights over the ‘camps’
      Ø camera-monitored perimeter alarms
      Ø control gates with metal detectors and x-ray devices
      Ø a system to broadcast announcements from loudspeakers
      Ø a control centre for the camps at the ministry’s HQ
      And this will be paid for – a total bill of €33m – by the EU.
      As this cash is on top of the €250m the EU has already promised to build these camps – described, we must stress, as ‘closed’ repeatedly in the Greek governments’ ‘deliverability document’ even though the EU, and specifically its Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson who confirmed the €250m payment on her visit to the Aegean islands in March this year, promised the EU would not fund closed camps - it is absolutely vital that the Union is not misled into handing over millions of Euros for a programme designed to break international law and strip men, women and children of their fundamental human rights and protections.
      We must stress: these men, women and children have committed no crime. Even if they were suspected of having done so, they would be entitled to a trial before a jury before having their freedom taken away from them for – based on the current advised waiting period for asylum cases to be processed in Greece – up to five years.»

      ( text by Koraki : https://www.facebook.com/koraki.org)
      source : https://www.facebook.com/yorgos.konstantinou/posts/10223644448395917


      source : https://www.facebook.com/yorgos.konstantinou/posts/10223644448395917

      –—


      source : https://www.facebook.com/yorgos.konstantinou/posts/10223657767448885

      #caricature #dessin_de_presse by #Yorgos_Konstantinou

    • Pétition:

      EU: Build Schools, Not Walls

      We strongly stand against allocating European funds to build walls around Greek refugee camps.

      The ongoing fencing work at the Ritsona, Polykastro, Diavata, Malakasa and Nea Kavala camps must stop immediately.

      Greece, with the full support of the European Union, is turning refugee camps into de-facto prisons.

      Millions of euros allocated for building walls should be spent on education, psychological support and the improvement of hygienic conditions in the refugee camps.

      What happened?

      In January and February 2021, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) published two invitations to bid for the construction of fences in refugee camps in mainland Greece.

      However, the fences became concrete walls. In March the Greek Ministry of Migration and Asylum commissioned to build NATO type fences and introduce additional security measures.

      Nobody - including camp residents - was informed about it.

      The walls are a jeopardy for integration, safety and mental health

      Residents of refugee camps fled their country in search for safety. In Europe their (mental) health is worsening because of the horrific conditions in the camps.

      Building the walls after a year of strict lockdown will lead to a further deterioration in their mental state.

      Moreover, it will:
      – deepen divisions between people: it will make the interaction between refugees and the local community even more difficult, if not impossible.
      – make it even harder for journalists and NGO’s to monitor the situation in the camp
      – put the residents of the camps in danger in case of fire.

      As EU citizens we cannot allow that innocent people are being locked behind the walls, in the middle of nowhere. Being a refugee is not a crime.

      Seeking asylum is a human right.

      Democracy and freedom cannot be built with concrete walls.

      Building walls was always the beginning of dark periods in history.

      Crushing walls - is the source of hope, reconciliation and (what is a foundation of European idea) solidarity.

      No more walls in the EU!

      https://secure.avaaz.org/community_petitions/en/notis_mitarachi_the_minister_of_migration_of_greec_eu_build_schools_no

    • La Grèce construit des camps barricadés pour isoler les réfugiés

      L’Union européenne a investi cette année 276 millions d’euros pour la construction de camps de réfugiés sur cinq îles grecques. À #Leros, où un camp de 1 800 places ouvrira bientôt, habitants et ONG s’indignent contre cet édifice barricadé. Le gouvernement assume.

      L’Union européenne a investi cette année 276 millions d’euros pour la construction de camps de réfugiés sur cinq îles grecques. À Leros, où un camp de 1 800 places ouvrira bientôt, habitants et ONG s’indignent contre cet édifice barricadé. Le gouvernement assume.

      Le champ de #conteneurs blancs s’étale sur 63 000 mètres carrés sur une colline inhabitée. Depuis les bateaux de plaisance qui pénètrent dans la baie de Lakki, dans le sud de Leros, on ne voit qu’eux. Ils forment le tout nouveau camp de réfugiés de 1 860 places, interdit d’accès au public, qui doit ouvrir ses portes d’ici à la rentrée sur cette île grecque de 8 000 habitants, qui compte aujourd’hui 75 demandeurs d’asile.

      « Il sera doté de mini-supermarchés, restaurants, laveries, écoles, distributeurs d’argent, terrains de basket », détaille #Filio_Kyprizoglou, sa future directrice. Soit un « village, avec tous les services compris pour les demandeurs d’asile ! », s’emballe-t-elle.

      Mais le « village » sera cerné de hauts murs, puis d’une route périphérique destinée aux patrouilles de police, elle aussi entourée d’un mur surplombé de #barbelés. Depuis sa taverne sur le port de Lakki, Theodoros Kosmopoulou observe avec amertume cette « #nouvelle_prison », dont la construction a démarré en février, sur des terres appartenant à l’État grec.

      Ce nouveau centre barricadé est l’un des cinq camps de réfugiés grecs en construction sur les îles à proximité de la Turquie et ayant connu des arrivées ces dernières années. Ces structures sont financées à hauteur de 276 millions d’euros par l’Union européenne (UE). Si celui de Leros est bien visible dans la baie de Lakki, les centres qui s’élèveront à #Kos, #Samos, #Chios et #Lesbos seront, eux, souvent isolés des villes.

      Ces camps dits éphémères pourront héberger au total 15 000 demandeurs d’asile ou des personnes déboutées. Ils seront tous opérationnels à la fin de l’année, espère la Commission européenne. Celui de Samos, 3 600 places, sera ouvert cet été, suivi de Kos, 2 000 places, et Leros. L’appel d’offres pour la construction des camps de Chios (de 1 800 à 3 000 places) et Lesbos (5 000 places) a été publié en mai.

      Si l’Europe les qualifie de « #centres_de_premier_accueil_multifonctionnels », le ministère grec de l’immigration parle, lui, de « #structures_contrôlées_fermées ». Elles doivent remplacer les anciens camps dits « #hotspots », déjà présents sur ces îles, qui abritent maintenant 9 000 migrants. Souvent surpeuplés depuis leur création en 2016, ils sont décriés pour leurs conditions de vie indignes. Le traitement des demandes d’asile peut y prendre des mois.

      Des compagnies privées pour gérer les camps ?

      Dans ces nouveaux camps, les réfugiés auront une réponse à leur demande dans les cinq jours, assure le ministère grec de l’immigration. Les personnes déboutées seront détenues dans des parties fermées – seulement les hommes seuls - dans l’attente de leur renvoi.

      Un membre d’une organisation d’aide internationale, qui s’exprime anonymement, craint que les procédures de demande d’asile ne soient « expédiées plus rapidement et qu’il y ait plus de rejets ». « Le gouvernement de droite est de plus en plus dur avec les réfugiés », estime-t-il. Athènes, qui compte aujourd’hui quelque 100 000 demandeurs d’asile (chiffre de mai 2021 donné par l’UNHCR), a en effet durci sa politique migratoire durant la pandémie.

      La Grèce vient aussi d’élargir la liste des nationalités pouvant être renvoyées vers le pays voisin. La Turquie est désormais considérée comme un « pays sûr » pour les Syriens, Bangladais, Afghans, Somaliens et Pakistanais.

      (—> voir https://seenthis.net/messages/919682)

      Pour la mise en œuvre de cette #procédure_d’asile, le gouvernement compte sur l’organisation et surtout la #surveillance de ces camps, au regard des plans détaillés que Manos Logothetis, secrétaire général du ministère de l’immigration, déplie fièrement dans son bureau d’Athènes. Chaque centre, cerné de murs, sera divisé en #zones compartimentées pour les mineurs non accompagnés, les familles, etc. Les demandeurs d’asile ne pourront circuler entre ces #espaces_séparés qu’avec une #carte_magnétique « d’identité ».

      "Je doute qu’une organisation de défense des droits humains ou de la société civile soit autorisée à témoigner de ce qui se passe dans ce nouveau camp." (Catharina Kahane, cofondatrice de l’ONG autrichienne Echo100Plus)

      Celle-ci leur permettra également de sortir du camp, en journée uniquement, avertit Manos Logothetis : « S’ils reviennent après la tombée de la #nuit, les réfugiés resteront à l’extérieur jusqu’au lendemain, dans un lieu prévu à cet effet. Ils devront justifier leur retard auprès des autorités du centre. » Les « autorités » présentes à l’ouverture seront l’#UNHCR, les services de santé et de l’asile grec, #Europol, l’#OIM, #Frontex et quelques ONG « bienvenues », affirme le secrétaire général - ce que réfutent les ONG, visiblement sous pression.

      Le gouvernement souhaite néanmoins un changement dans la gestion des camps. « Dans d’autres États, cette fonction est à la charge de compagnies privées […]. Nous y songeons aussi. Dans certains camps grecs, tout a été sous le contrôle de l’OIM et de l’UNHCR […], critique Manos Logothetis. Nous pensons qu’il est temps qu’elles fassent un pas en arrière. Nous devrions diriger ces camps via une compagnie privée, sous l’égide du gouvernement. »

      « Qui va venir dans ces centres ? »

      À Leros, à des centaines de kilomètres au nord-ouest d’Athènes, ces propos inquiètent. « Je doute qu’une organisation de défense des droits humains ou de la société civile soit autorisée à témoigner de ce qui se passe dans ce nouveau camp, dit Catharina Kahane, cofondatrice de l’ONG autrichienne Echo100Plus. Nous n’avons jamais été invités à le visiter. Toutes les ONG enregistrées auprès du gouvernement précédent [de la gauche Syriza jusqu’en 2019 – ndlr] ont dû s’inscrire à nouveau auprès de la nouvelle administration [il y a deux ans - ndlr]. Très peu d’organisations ont réussi, beaucoup ont été rejetées. »

      La municipalité de Leros s’interroge, pour sa part, sur la finalité de ce camp. #Michael_Kolias, maire sans étiquette de l’île, ne croit pas à son caractère « éphémère » vendu aux insulaires. « Les autorités détruisent la nature pour le construire ! », argumente celui-ci. La municipalité a déposé un recours auprès du Conseil d’État pour empêcher son ouverture.

      Ce camp aux allures de centre de détention ravive également de douloureux souvenirs pour les riverains. Leros porte, en effet, le surnom de l’île des damnés. La profonde baie de Lakki a longtemps caché ceux que la Grèce ne voulait pas voir. Sous la junte (1967-1974), ses bâtiments d’architecture italienne sont devenus des prisons pour des milliers de communistes. D’autres édifices néoclassiques ont également été transformés en hôpital psychiatrique, critiqué pour ses mauvais traitements jusque dans les années 1980.

      C’est d’ailleurs dans l’enceinte même de l’hôpital psychiatrique, qui compte toujours quelques patients, qu’a été construit un premier « hotspot » de réfugiés de 860 places, en 2016. Aujourd’hui, 75 demandeurs d’asile syriens et irakiens y sont parqués. Ils s’expriment peu, sous la surveillance permanente des policiers.

      Il n’y a presque plus d’arrivées de migrants de la Turquie depuis deux ans. « Mais qui va donc venir occuper les 1 800 places du nouveau camp ?, interpelle le maire de Leros. Est-ce que les personnes dublinées rejetées d’autres pays de l’UE vont être placées ici ? » Le ministère de l’immigration assure que le nouveau camp n’abritera que les primo-arrivants des côtes turques. Il n’y aura aucun transfert d’une autre région ou pays dans ces centres des îles, dit-il.

      La Turquie, voisin « ennemi »

      Le gouvernement maintient que la capacité importante de ces nouveaux camps se justifie par la « #menace_permanente » d’arrivées massives de migrants de la #Turquie, voisin « ennemi », comme le souligne le secrétaire général Manos Logothetis. « En Grèce, nous avons souffert, elle nous a attaqués en mars 2020 ! », lâche le responsable, en référence à l’annonce de l’ouverture de la frontière gréco-turque par le président turc Erdogan, qui avait alors entraîné l’arrivée de milliers de demandeurs d’asile aux portes de la Grèce.

      Selon l’accord controversé UE-Turquie de 2016, Ankara doit, en échange de 6 milliards d’euros, réintégrer les déboutés de l’asile - pour lesquels la Turquie est jugée « pays sûr »- et empêcher les départs de migrants de ses côtes. « Elle ne collabore pas […]. Il faut utiliser tous les moyens possibles et légaux pour protéger le territoire national ! »,avance Manos Logothetis.

      Pour le gouvernement, cela passe apparemment par la #fortification de sa frontière en vue de dissuader la venue de migrants, notamment dans le nord-est du pays. Deux canons sonores viennent d’être installés sur un nouveau mur en acier, le long de cette lisière terrestre gréco-turque.

      De l’autre côté de cette barrière, la Turquie, qui compte près de quatre millions de réfugiés, n’accepte plus de retours de migrants de Grèce depuis le début de la pandémie. Elle aura « l’obligation de les reprendre », répète fermement Manos Logothetis. Auquel cas de nombreux réfugiés déboutés pourraient rester longtemps prisonniers des nouveaux « villages » de l’UE.

      https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/240621/la-grece-construit-des-camps-barricades-pour-isoler-les-refugies
      #business #HCR #privatisation

    • Grèce : sur l’île de Samos, les migrants découvrent leur nouveau centre aux allures de « prison »

      Sur l’île grecque de Samos, proche de la Turquie, un nouveau camp de réfugiés dit « fermé », isolé et doté d’une structure ultra-sécuritaire vient d’entrer en service. Les quelque 500 demandeurs d’asile qui se trouvaient encore dans l’ancien camp de Vathy ont commencé à y être transférés. Reportage.

      « Camp fermé ? On ne sait pas ce que c’est un camp fermé. C’est une prison ou bien c’est pour les immigrés ? Parce qu’on m’a dit que c’était conçu comme une prison. » Comme ce jeune Malien, assis à côté de ses sacs, les demandeurs d’asile s’interrogent et s’inquiètent, eux qui s’apprêtent à quitter le camp de Vathy et ses airs de bidonville pour le nouveau camp de l’île de Samos et sa réputation de prison.

      Au Cameroun, Paulette tenait un commerce de pièces détachées qui l’amenait à voyager à Dubaï voire en Chine. Ce nouveau camp, elle s’y résigne à contrecœur. « Ça me fend le cœur, dit-elle. Moi je n’ai pas le choix. Si j’avais le choix, je ne pourrais pas accepter d’aller là-bas. C’est parce que je n’ai pas le choix, je suis obligée de partir. »

      Comme elle s’est sentie obligée aussi de quitter le Cameroun. « À Buea, il y a la guerre, la guerre politique, on tue les gens, on kidnappe les gens. Moi, j’ai perdu ma mère, j’ai perdu mon père, j’ai perdu mon enfant, j’ai perdu ma petite sœur, mon grand frère… Donc je me suis retrouvée seule. Et moi je ne savais pas. S’il fallait le refaire, moi je préfèrerais mourir dans mon pays que de venir ici. Oui. Parce que ces gens-ci, ils n’ont pas de cœur. »

      Alors que les transferts entre les deux camps démarrent tout juste, la pelleteuse est déjà prête. La destruction de l’ancien camp de Vathy est prévue pour la fin de semaine.

      https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/35176/grece--sur-lile-de-samos-les-migrants-decouvrent-leur-nouveau-centre-a

  • Le #Kosovo va-t-il rejoindre les normes européennes ?

    3 avril - 18h30 : #Frontex a récemment conduit une #évaluation des systèmes #IT au Kosovo, pour préparer la mise en place d’un système compatible avec #Eurodac dans le cadre du projet « #Regional_Support_to _Protection-Sensitive_Migration_Management in the WB and Turkey ». En effet, le Kosovo a déjà des systèmes de collectes de #données efficaces mais qui ont été mis en place par les Américains et qui ne respectent pas les normes européennes. Par ailleurs, Le Bureau européen d’appui en matière d’asile (#EASO) a préparé un plan pour la mise en place d’un #système_d’asile au Kosovo aligné sur les #normes_européennes.

    Enfin, du fait de son statut particulier, le Kosovo n’a que peu d’#accords_de_réadmission pour expulser les ressortissant.e.s de pays tiers sur son territoire. L’idée de l’UE serait de mutualiser les retours à l’échelle des Balkans pour contourner cette difficulté.

    https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/refugies-balkans-les-dernieres-infos

    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #Balkans #route_des_Balkans #réadmission #retours #renvois

    –-

    ajouté à la métaliste sur l’externalisation des frontières :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/731749
    Et plus précisément :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/731749#message782649

  • Covid-19 : la Serbie commence à vacciner les migrants et étrangers - InfoMigrants
    https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/31172/covid-19-la-serbie-commence-a-vacciner-les-migrants-et-etrangers

    Covid-19 : la Serbie commence à vacciner les migrants et étrangers
    Depuis vendredi, les migrants et ressortissants étrangers séjournant en Serbie ont été inclus dans la campagne vaccinale pour lutter contre le coronavirus. Seul le vaccin AstraZeneca, dont l’utilisation a été temporairement suspendue la semaine dernière par de nombreux pays européens, peut leur être administré.La Serbie, qui se montre parmi les pays les plus réactifs en matière de vaccination anti-Covid sur le continent européen, permet depuis vendredi 26 mars aux migrants et ressortissants étrangers vivant sur son territoire de recevoir leurs injections. La télévision d’État RTS rapporte que la vaccination de migrants a notamment débuté dans plusieurs camps, dont celui de Krnjaca près de Belgrade. Plus de 500 migrants, provenant principalement des pays de la région des Balkans et aussi de pays de l’UE, se sont enregistrés pour recevoir leurs doses.
    Les migrants et étrangers peuvent également être vaccinés à la Foire de Belgrade où est situé le principal centre de vaccination, selon la RTS. En revanche, seul le vaccin AstraZeneca peut leur être administré.Son utilisation a été temporairement suspendue la semaine dernière par de nombreux pays européens après le signalement de cas de thrombose, de troubles de la coagulation et de formation de caillots sanguins. L’Agence européenne des médicaments l’a, depuis, jugé « sûr et efficace ».La Serbie a également ouvert la vaccination à ses voisins : en Macédoine du Nord, les médias rapportent que des milliers de citoyens ont été appelés vendredi à se rendre à Belgrade pour y être vaccinés. La RST a d’ailleurs annoncé au cours du week-end le lancement d’une campagne de vaccination de propriétaires d’entreprises et de leurs employés venant d’Albanie, de Macédoine du Nord, du Monténégro, de la Bosnie et du Kosovo. Au total, 10 000 doses de vaccins ont été mises à leur disposition.
    Plus de 1,3 million d’habitants de ce petit pays européen des Balkans qui en compte 7 millions ont reçu une dose de vaccin et près d’un million deux doses.La télévision nationale n’a toutefois pas avancé de chiffres sur le nombre de ressortissants étrangers et de migrants présents dans le pays, ni expliqué si la décision de les vacciner est due à une chute de l’intérêt des citoyens serbes.Dans un rapport publié au début du mois, la Croix-Rouge alertait sur le manque d’accès à la vaccination pour les migrants, partout dans le monde. En Grèce, par exemple, 50 000 étrangers qui n’ont pas de numéro de sécurité sociale n’ont pas accès à la vaccination, indique l’ONG qui rappelle que le virus continuera de circuler si tout le monde n’est pas vacciné. Peu importe qu’ils aient des papiers ou non.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#serbie#bosnie#kosovo#albanie#macedoine#grece#etranger#sante#vaccination#inclusion

  • L’UE alloue 276 millions d’euros à la Grèce et appelle la Turquie à reprendre les migrants déboutés

    La commissaire européenne Ylva Johansson a appelé lundi, de l’île grecque de #Lesbos, la « Turquie à réadmettre d’urgence les migrants » renvoyés de Grèce, assurant par ailleurs que l’Union européenne allait allouer 276 millions d’euros à la construction de nouveaux camps d’accueil en #mer_Egée.

    La commissaire européenne aux Affaires intérieures chargée des migrations s’est rendue sur place pour pousser le gouvernement grec à agir plus rapidement en vue de l’ouverture avant l’hiver prochain de tels camps sur cette île, ainsi que sur celles de #Samos, #Chios, #Leros et #Kos, et à améliorer les #conditions_d'hébergement des quelque 14.000 demandeurs d’asile qui s’y trouvent.

    Ylva Johansson a par ailleurs exhorté la Turquie « à réadmettre d’urgence les migrants » renvoyés de Grèce, tandis que les présidents de la Commission européenne, Ursula von der Leyen, et du Conseil européen Charles Michel se rendront à Ankara le 6 avril pour rencontrer le président Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    Le ministre grec des Migrations Notis Mitarachi a rappelé lundi que la Grèce avait demandé à la Turquie de reprendre sur son territoire 1.450 personnes qui avaient été déboutées du droit d’asile sur les #îles grecques.

    La commissaire européenne a en outre souligné que « la question migratoire devait être européanisée » et qu’il ne fallait pas laisser les Etats membres aux #frontières_extérieures de l’UE seuls face à la gestion de cette crise. Elle a jugé « impératif » de trouver « de nouvelles #solutions_politiques » pour partager le #fardeau entre les pays européens, estimant que « depuis trois ans, il n’y a pas eu de progrès » en ce sens. Elle a dit « comprendre » que « la patience a ses limites » et qu’à Lesbos, notamment, "la limite était « proche ».

    Illustration de la #colère des insulaires, Ylva Johansson a été confrontée à la fronde de 300 habitants de Lesbos qui ont manifesté devant le bâtiment où se déroulait sa conférence de presse pour s’opposer à la mise en place d’un nouveau camp.

    « Non aux structures sur l’île », pouvait-on lire sur une banderole déployée avant l’arrivée de la commissaire européenne et du ministre grec des Migrations. Lors de la même conférence de presse, Notis Mitarachi a annoncé que les camps de Samos, Kos et Leros ouvriraient d’ici trois mois. Les autres avant décembre 2021, a-t-il dit à l’AFP.

    Le gouvernement avait promis il y a longtemps un nouveau camp pour remplacer celui de #Moria, détruit en septembre dans un incendie, mais sa construction s’était heurtée à l’opposition de la population et des autorités locales, lassées par la présence des demandeurs d’asile sur leur île depuis la crise migratoire de 2015. Le nouveau camp de Lesbos doit voir le jour dans la localité de #Pali, à une demi-heure de route de la capitale de cette île, Mytilène. Depuis l’incendie de Moria, quelque 8.000 migrants sont toujours regroupés dans des installations provisoires où leurs #conditions_de_vie ont été extrêmement difficiles cet hiver.

    La Grèce doit enquêter

    Interrogée sur les accusations de refoulements de migrants par les garde-côtes grecs en mer Egée, Ylva Johansson a estimé que « la Grèce peut faire plus en matière d’investigations ».

    « Il y a des cas particuliers qui, je le pense vraiment, doivent être examinés de près », a-t-elle exhorté, se disant « très préoccupée » par les rapports établis par le Haut-Commissariat aux Réfugiés de l’ONU.
    « Nous devons protéger nos frontières extérieures et nous devons protéger les droits fondamentaux, cela va de pair, ce n’est pas une contradiction », a-t-elle poursuivi.

    Les autorités grecques ont été accusées ces derniers mois par des ONG et dans des enquêtes parues dans de nombreux médias d’avoir forcé des migrants présents en mer Egée à retourner dans les eaux territoriales turques sans déposer de demandes d’asile en Grèce, en violation du droit international. « Nous n’avons pas renvoyé de bateaux. Nous avons empêché des bateaux d’entrer sur le territoire grec et européen, ce qui est permis », avait récemment assuré dans un entretien avec l’AFP Notis Mitarachi.

    Lundi, il a de nouveau apporté un démenti à ce sujet, insistant sur le fait que des enquêtes menées par l’Union européenne et l’agence Frontex n’avaient conclu à « aucune infraction à des droits fondamentaux dans les cas qui ont été examinés ».

    https://www.lorientlejour.com/article/1256960/lue-va-allouer-276-millions-deuros-pour-la-construction-de-camps-de-m

    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Grèce #UE #EU #aide_financière #déboutés #Turquie #réadmission #camps_de_réfugiés #nouveaux_camps #encampement #européanisation

    ping @isskein @karine4

  • « Free WiFi Berlin » : Standorte der WLAN-Hotspots in Berlin
    https://www.berlin.de/wlan/4445570-4236202-standorte-der-wlanhotspots-in-berlin.html

    Status am 21.1.2021 laut Berlin.de

    Alle Hotspots nach Bezirk

    #Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf

    Amtsgericht Charlottenburg
    Amtsgerichtsplatz 1
    14057 Berlin
    Berliner Landeszentrale für politische Bildung
    Hardenbergstraße 22-24
    10623 Berlin
    Bröhan-Museum
    Schloßstraße 1A
    14059 Berlin
    C & A
    Wilmersdorfer Straße 124
    10627 Berlin
    Chic
    Bismarckstraße 10
    10825 Berlin
    Finanzamt Charlottenburg + Finanzschule
    Bismarckstraße 48
    10627 Berlin
    Finanzamt für Körperschaften I
    Bredtschneiderstraße 5
    14057 Berlin
    Finanzamt für Köperschaften III
    Volkmarstraße 13
    12099 Berlin
    Finanzamt Wilmersdorf
    Albrecht-Achilles-Straße 61-64
    10709 Berlin
    Fischereiamt
    Havelschaussee 149-151
    14055 Berlin
    Gartenarbeitsschule Ilse Demme
    Dillenburger Straße 57
    14199 Berlin
    Gesundheitsamt
    Hohenzollerndamm 174
    10713 Berlin
    Landgericht Berlin
    Tegeler Weg 17-20
    10589 Berlin
    McDonald’s Franchise-Nehmer
    Kantstraße 111
    10627 Berlin
    Musikschule City-West (Prinzregentenstraße)
    Prinzregentenstraße 72
    10715 Berlin
    Oberverwaltungsgericht Berlin-Brandenburg
    Hardenbergstraße 31
    10623 Berlin
    Stadtbad Wilmersdorf
    Mecklenburgische Straße 80
    10713 Berlin
    Stadtbad Wilmersdorf 2
    Fritz-Wildung-Straße 2
    14199 Berlin
    Standesamt Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf
    Alt-Lietzow 28
    10587 Berlin
    UCW & Atelierhaus
    Sigmaringer Straße 1
    10713 Berlin
    Villa Oppenheim
    Schloßstraße 55
    14059 Berlin
    Wilmersdorfer Arcaden
    Wilmersdorfer Straße 46
    10627 Berlin
    Wohnhaus
    Am Volkspark 73
    10715 Berlin
    Wohnhaus
    Bundesplatz 12
    10715 Berlin
    Wohnhaus
    Hildegardstraße 9
    10715 Berlin
    Wohnhaus
    Koblenzerstraße 1
    10715 Berlin

    #Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg

    Alia Mädchenzentrum
    Wrangelstraße 84A
    10997 Berlin
    Amerika Gedenkbibliothek
    Blücherplatz 1
    10961 Berlin
    Amtsgericht Tempelhof-Kreuzberg
    Möckernstraße 128-130
    10963 Berlin
    AWO Begegnungszentrum
    Adalbertstraße 23A
    10997 Berlin
    Bayouma-Haus
    Frankfurter Allee 110
    10247 Berlin
    Begegnungsstätte Charlottenstraße
    Charlottenstraße 85
    10969 Berlin
    Begegnungsstätte Falckensteinstraße
    Falckensteinstraße 6
    10997 Berlin
    Begegnungsstätte Gitschiner Str. 38
    Gitschiner Straße 38
    10969 Berlin
    Berlinische Galerie
    Alte Jakobstraße 124-128
    10969 Berlin
    Bürgeramt Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg
    Schlesische Straße 27 A
    10997 Berlin
    Bezirksamt Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg
    Frankfurter Allee 35-37
    10247 Berlin
    Familien- und Nachbarschaftszentrum Wrangelkiez
    Cuvrystraße 13
    10997 Berlin
    Familienzentrum FamoX
    Scharnweberstraße 23
    10247 Berlin
    Familienzentrum Mehringdamm
    Mehringdamm 114
    10965 Berlin
    FHXB Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg Museum
    Adalbertstraße 95a
    10999 Berlin
    Finanzamt Friedrichshain Kreuzberg II Mehringdamm 110-112
    10965 Berlin
    Friedhof der Märzgefallenen
    Ernst-Zinna-Weg 1
    10249 Berlin
    Gesundheitsamt Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg
    Urbanstraße 24
    10967 Berlin
    Günter-König-Sportplatz
    Blücherstr. 46/47
    10961 Berlin
    HAU Hebbel am Ufer (HAU2)
    Hallesches Ufer 32-38
    10963 Berlin
    Haus des Sports Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg
    Böcklerstraße 1
    10969 Berlin
    Hebbel-Theater Berlin
    Stresemannstraße 29-31
    10963 Berlin
    Hellweg Sportplatz
    Yorkstraße 38
    10965 Berlin
    JFE Die Nische
    Rudolfstraße 15B
    10245 Berlin
    Jugendamt am Halleschen Ufer
    Frankfurter Allee 35-37
    10247 Berlin
    Jugendamt Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg (Adalbertstraße)
    Adalbertstraße 23b
    10997 Berlin
    Jugendamt Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg (Mehringdamm)
    Mehringdamm 114
    10965 Berlin
    Jugendclub Feuerwache
    Marchlewskistraße 6
    10243 Berlin
    Jugendclub Liebig 19
    Liebigstraße 19
    10247 Berlin
    Jugend Kunst- und Kulturhaus (S27)
    Schlesische Straße 27 B
    10997 Berlin
    Kiez-Café
    Petersburger Straße 92
    10247 Berlin
    Kunstquartier Bethanien
    Mariannenplatz 2
    10997 Berlin
    Kurt-Ritter-Sportplatz
    Gürtelstr. 20
    10247 Berlin
    LABO Kfz-Zulassungsstelle Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg
    Jüterboger Straße 3
    10965 Berlin
    Lasker-Sportplatz
    Persiusstr. 7 b
    10245 Berlin
    Lilli-Henoch-Sportplatz
    Askanischer Platz 7
    10963 Berlin
    Neues Wohnen im Kiez GmbH
    Kopernikusstraße 23
    10245 Berlin
    Ordnungsamt Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg
    Petersburger Straße 86-90
    10247 Berlin
    Park am Gleisdreieck
    Möckernstraße 26
    10963 Berlin
    Phantalisa Mädchentreff
    Kadiner Straße 9
    10243 Berlin
    Schwimmhalle Holzmarktstraße
    Holzmarktstraße 51
    10243 Berlin
    Science Center Spectrum des Deutschen Technikmuseums Berlin
    Möckernstraße 26
    10963 Berlin
    Senatskanzlei-Wissenschaft-Forschung
    Warschauer Straße 41
    10243 Berlin
    Senatsverwaltung für Integration, Arbeit und Soziales
    Oranienstraße 106
    10969 Berlin
    Sportplatz Körtestraße
    Körtestr. 13
    10967 Berlin
    Sportplatz Lobeckstraße + Lobeckhalle
    Lobeckstr. 62
    10969 Berlin
    Sportplatz Lohmühleninsel + Flatowsporthalle
    Vor dem Schlesischen Tor 1
    10997 Berlin
    Sportplatz Waldeckpark
    Alte Jakobstr. 40
    10969 Berlin
    Sportplatz Wiener Straße
    Wiener Str. 59 a – g
    10999 Berlin
    Sportplatz Züllichauer Straße
    Züllichauer Str. 1 – 7
    10965 Berlin
    Sportplatz Alt-Stralau
    Alt-Stralau 40/41
    10245 Berlin
    Sportplatz Virchowstraße
    Virchowstraße 1 – 7
    10249 Berlin
    Volkshochschule
    Wassertorstraße 4
    10969 Berlin
    Willi-Boos-Sportplatz
    Baerwaldstr. 34
    10961 Berlin
    Willy-Kressmann-Stadion
    Dudenstr. 40
    10965 Berlin

    #Lichtenberg

    Begegnungsstätte Judith Auer
    Judith-Auer-Straße 8
    10369 Berlin
    Bezirksamt Lichtenberg Bürgeramt 1
    Egon-Erwin-Kisch-Straße 106
    13059 Berlin
    Christliches Sozialwerk Berlin e.V.
    Landsberger Allee 225
    13055 Berlin
    Egon-Erwin-Kisch-Bibliothek
    Frankfurter Allee 149
    10365 Berlin
    Finanzamt für Körperschaften IV + II
    Magdalenenstraße 25
    10365 Berlin
    Finanzamt Lichtenberg
    Josef-Orlopp-Straße 62
    10365 Berlin
    Gebäudekomplex Alt-Friedrichsfelde 60
    Alt-Friedrichsfelde 60
    10315 Berlin
    JFE Betonoase (Indoor)
    Dolgenseestraße 11
    10319 Berlin
    JFE Eastside
    Volkradstraße 6
    10319 Berlin
    JFE Future
    Schweriner Ring 27
    13059 Berlin
    JFE Full House
    Ribnitzer Straße 30
    13051 Berlin
    JFE Holzwurmhaus
    Falkenberger Chaussee 141
    13059 Berlin
    JFE Kontaktladen V.i.P.
    Rüdickenstraße 29
    13053 Berlin
    JFE Leos Hütte
    Grevesmühlener Straße 43
    13059 Berlin
    JFE Linse (Indoor)
    An der Parkaue 25
    10367 Berlin
    JFE Mikado
    Egon-Erwin-Kisch-Straße 1a
    13059 Berlin
    JFE Napf
    Hauffstraße 13
    10317 Berlin
    JFE NTC / EFB
    Erieseering 4 - 6
    10319 Berlin
    JFE OCB
    Werneuchener Straße 15 B
    13055 Berlin
    JFE Orange Flip
    Gensinger Str. 56
    10315 Berlin
    JFE Rainbow
    Hönower Straße 30
    10318 Berlin
    JFE Trialog
    Ahrenshooper Str. 5/7
    13051 Berlin
    JFE Tube
    Herzbergstr. 160
    10367 Berlin
    JFE Welseclub
    Vincen-van-Gogh-Straße 36
    13057 Berlin
    Jugendfreizeitclub Ausblick
    Zum Hechtgraben 1
    13051 Berlin
    Jugendklub Rainbow
    Hönower Str. 30
    10318 Berlin
    JuFaZ
    Eitelstraße 19
    10317 Berlin
    Jugendamt Bezirksamt Lichtenberg
    Große-Leege-Straße 103
    13055 Berlin
    Jugendfreizeitclub Ausblick
    Zum Hechtgraben 1
    13051 Berlin
    Jugendklub Zwergenhöhle
    Spittastraße 40
    10317 Berlin
    Kiezspinne
    Schulze-Boysen-Straße 38
    10365 Berlin
    Kommunale Begegnungsstätte Neustrelitzstraße
    Neustrelitzer Straße 63
    13055 Berlin
    Kommunale Begegnungsstätte Rusche 43
    Ruschestraße 43
    10367 Berlin
    KultSchule
    Sewanstraße 43
    10319 Berlin
    LABO Kfz- Zulassungsstelle Lichtenberg
    Ferdinand-Schultze-Str. 55
    13055 Berlin
    Mädchensportzentrum Pia Olymp
    Am Berl 25
    13051 Berlin
    Museum Lichtenberg
    Türrschmidtstraße 24
    10317 Berlin
    Nachbarschaftshaus
    Ribnitzer Straße 1B
    13051 Berlin
    Nachbarschaftshaus KultSchule
    Sewanstraße 43
    10319 Berlin
    Naturschutzstation Malchow
    Dorstraße 35
    13051 Berlin
    Rathaus Lichtenberg
    Möllendorffstraße 6
    10367 Berlin
    Schwimmhalle Anton-Saefkow-Platz
    Anton-Saefkow-Platz 1
    10369 Berlin
    Schwimmhalle Sewanstraße
    Sewanstraße 229
    10319 Berlin
    Schwimmhalle Zingster Straße
    Zingster Straße 16
    13051 Berlin
    Seniorenbegegnungsstätte Hönower Straße
    Hönower Straße 30A
    10318 Berlin
    Sozialdiakonische Arbeit Lichtenberg-Oberspree
    Pfarrstraße 97
    10317 Berlin
    Sportforum Berlin (Lili-Henoch-Halle, Eisschnelllaufhalle, Große Halle, Olympiastützpunkt, Trainingshalle)
    Weißenseer Weg 53
    13053 Berlin
    SportJugendBildungsZentrum Lücke
    Lückstraße 18
    10317 Berlin
    Sportkomplex
    Paul Heyse Straße 25
    10407 Berlin
    Volkshochschule Lichtenberg
    Paul-Junius-Straße 71
    10369 Berlin

    #Marzahn-Hellersdorf

    Amt für Soziales
    Riesaer Straße 94
    12627 Berlin
    Ausstellungszentrum Pyramide
    Landsberger Allee 366
    12681 Berlin
    Bezirksamt
    Premnitzerstraße 11
    12681 Berlin
    Bezirksmuseum
    Alt-Marzahn 51
    12685 Berlin
    Bezirkszentralbibliothek Mark Twain
    Marzahner Promenade 52-54
    12679 Berlin
    Bibliothek Kaulsdorf-Nord
    Cecilienplatz 12
    121619 Berlin
    Bibliothek Mahlsdorf
    Alt-Mahlsdorf 24-26
    12623 Berlin
    Bockwindmühle Marzahn
    Hinter der Mühle 4
    12685 Berlin
    Bürgerhaus Südspitze
    Marchwitza Straße 24-26
    12681 Berlin
    Caspar-David-Friedrich Schule
    Alte Hellersdorfer Straße 7
    12629 Berlin
    Ehm-Welk-Bibliothek
    Alte Hellersdorfer Straße 125
    12629 Berlin
    Erich-Weinert-Bibliothek
    Helene-Weigel-Platz 4
    12681 Berlin
    Ernst-Haeckel-Gesamtschule
    Luckenwalder Straße 53
    12629 Berlin
    Finanzamt Marzahn-Hellersdorf
    Allee der Kosmonauten 29
    12681 Berlin
    Freizeitforum Marzahn
    Marzahner Promenade 55
    12679 Berlin
    Gärten der Welt
    Blumberger Damm 44
    12685 Berlin
    Galerie M
    Marzahner Promenade 46
    12679 Berlin
    Georg-Klingenberg-Schule
    Alberichstraße 24
    12683 Berlin
    Gesundheitsamt Marzahn-Hellersdorf - Kinder und Jugendgesundheitsdienst
    Janusz-Korczak-Straße 32
    12627 Berlin
    Hans-Werner-Henze Musikschule
    Maratstraße 182
    12683 Berlin
    Haus der Begegnung M3
    Mehrower Allee 3
    12687 Berlin
    Haus des Sports
    Eisenacher Straße 121
    12685 Berlin
    Heinrich-von-Kleist-Bibliothek
    Havemannstraße 17
    12689 Berlin
    Helleum
    Kastanienallee 59
    12627 Berlin
    Informationszentrum Marzahn-Hellersdorf / Touristinformation
    Hellersdorfer Str. 159
    12619 Berlin
    Johann-Strauß-Grundschule
    Cecilienstraße 81
    12683 Berlin
    Jugendclub Balzer-Platz
    Köpenicker Straße 184
    12683 Berlin
    Jugendclub Klinke
    Bruno-Baum-Straße 56
    12685 Berlin
    JFE Fair
    Marzahner Promenade 51
    12679 Berlin
    JFE Kompass
    Kummerower Ring 42
    12619 Berlin
    JFH Hellersdorfer Straße
    Hellersdorfer Straße 27
    12621 Berlin
    JFH Tangermünder Straße
    Tangermünder Straße 2
    12627 Berlin
    Jugendclub Rudolf-Leonhard-Straße
    Rudolf-Leonhard-Straße 2
    12679 Berlin
    Jugendfreizeiteinrichtung Betonia
    Wittenberger Straße 78
    12689 Berlin
    Jugendfreizeiteinrichtung Anna Landsberger
    Prötzeler Ring 13
    12685 Berlin
    Jugendfreizeiteinrichtung „U5“
    Auerbacher Ring 25
    12619 Berlin
    Jugendfreizeiteinrichtung Joker
    Alte Hellersdorfer Straße 3
    12629 Berlin
    Jugendfreizeitheim Lubminer
    Lubminer Straße 38
    12619 Berlin
    Kienbergpark
    Hellersdorfer Straße 159
    12619 Berlin
    Kinderbad Platsch
    Max-Hermann-Straße 7
    12687 Berlin
    Kinder-, Jugend- und Familienzentrum Marzahn-Mitte
    Sella-Hasse-Straße 19/21
    12687 Berlin
    KulturGut
    Alt-Marzahn 23
    12685 Berlin
    KJFZ Hellersdorf-Süd
    Peter-Huchel-Straße 39/39a
    12619 Berlin
    Kleintierhof Marzahn
    Alt-Marzahn 63
    12685 Berlin
    Kulturring in Berlin e.V.
    Carola-Neher-Straße 1
    12619 Berlin
    Kunsthaus Flora
    Florastraße 113
    12623 Berlin
    Musikschule
    Maratstraße 182
    12683 Berlin
    NFZ Kiek in - Soziale Dienste gGmbH
    Rosenbecker Straße 25/27
    12689 Berlin
    Rathaus Marzahn-Hellersdorf
    12591 Berlin
    Rudolf-Virchow-Oberschule
    Glambecker Ring 90
    12679 Berlin
    Schloß Biesdorf
    Alt-Biesdorf 55
    12683 Berlin
    Schwimmhalle Helmut Behrendt
    Helene-Weigel-Platz 9
    12681 Berlin
    Schwimmhalle Kaulsdorf
    Clara-Zetkin-Weg 13
    12619 Berlin
    Sozialamt
    Riesaer Straße 94
    12627 Berlin
    Stadtteilzentrum Biesdorf - Ball e.V.
    Alt Biesdorf 15
    12683 Berlin
    Stadtteilzentrum Hellerdorf Süd - Klub 74
    Am Baltenring 74
    12619 Berlin
    Stadtteilzentrum Kaulsdorf - Mittendrin leben e.V.
    Brodauer Straße 27-29
    12621 Berlin
    Stadtteilzentrum Marzahn Mitte - Volkssolidarität LV Berlin e.V.
    Marzahner Promenade 38
    12627 Berlin
    Stadtteilzentrum Marzahn Süd „Mosaik“ - Wuhletal gGmbH
    Altlandsberger Platz 2 (Eingang über Pritzhagener Weg)
    12685 Berlin
    Stadtteilzentrum Marzahn NordWest - Kiek in gGmbH
    Ahrensfelder Chaussee 148
    12689 Berlin
    Ulmen-Grundschule
    Ulmenstraße 79-85
    12621 Berlin
    Volkshochschule Marzahn-Hellersdorf
    Mark-Twain-Straße 27
    12627 Berlin

    #Mitte

    Atze Musiktheater
    Luxemburger Straße 20
    13353 Berlin
    Amtsgericht Tiergarten + Landesgericht Berlin
    Turmstraße 91
    10559 Berlin
    Amtsgericht Wedding
    Brunnenplatz 1
    13357 Berlin
    Begegnungsstätte Haus Bottrop
    Schönwalder Straße 4
    13347 Berlin
    Berliner Ensemble
    Bertolt-Brecht-Platz 1
    10117 Berlin
    Berliner Fernsehturm
    Panoramastraße 1a
    10178 Berlin
    Berlin Pavillon
    Scheidemannstrasse 1
    10557 Berlin-Tiergarten
    Bibliothek am Luisenbad
    Travemünder Straße 2
    13357 Berlin
    Bibliothek Tiergarten Süd
    Lützowstraße 27
    10785 Berlin
    Brandenburger Tor (Outdoor)
    Pariser Platz 8
    10117 Berlin
    Brunnenplatz
    Brunnenplatz 1
    13357 Berlin
    Bruno-Lösche-Bibliothek
    Perleberger Straße 33
    10559 Berlin
    Bundeskanzler-Willy-Brandt-Stiftung (Outdoor)
    Unter den Linden 62
    10117 Berlin
    Café Marlene
    Kastanienallee 103
    10435 Berlin
    Dalí Berlin
    Leipziger Platz 7
    10117 Berlin
    Fanny Hensel Musikschule
    Wallstraße 42
    10179 Berlin
    Finanzamt Mitte (Tiergarten)
    Neue Jakobstraße 6-7
    10179 Berlin
    Finanzamt Wedding
    Osloer Straße 37
    13359 Berlin
    Fortbildungsinstitut für die pädag. Praxis
    Kluckstraße 11
    10785 Berlin
    Friedrichstadt-Palast (Outdoor)
    Friedrichstraße 107
    10117 Berlin
    Gendarmenmarkt (Konzerthaus Berlin)
    Gendarmenmarkt 3-4
    10117 Berlin
    Gesundheitsamt Sozialpsychologische Beratung
    Reinickendorfer Straße 60b
    13347 Berlin
    Hansabibliothek (Outdoor)
    Altonaer Straße 15
    10557 Berlin
    Haus Holon
    Schwarzspechtweg 32-36
    13505 Berlin
    Haus der Statistik
    Karl-Marx-Allee 1
    10178 Berlin
    Jugendeinrichtung DR Kongo
    Kongostraße 28
    13351 Berlin
    Kinder- und Jugendclub go
    Schönhauser Allee 165
    10435 Berlin
    Kombibad Seestraße
    Seestraße 80
    13347 Berlin
    Komische Oper
    Behrenstraße 55
    10117 Berlin
    Kunstverein Tiergarten
    Turmstraße 75
    10551 Berlin
    LABO Standesamt I
    Schönstedtstr. 5
    13357 Berlin
    Landesamt für Gesundheit und Soziales
    Turmstraße 21
    10559 Berlin
    Landesarbeitsgericht Berlin-Brandenburg + Arbeitsgericht Berlin
    Magdeburger Platz 1
    10785 Berlin
    Landgericht Berlin + Amtsgericht Mitte
    Littenstraße 12-17
    10179 Berlin
    MiK-Jugendkunstschule
    Schönwalder Straße 19
    13347 Berlin
    Museum Mitte
    Pankstraße 47
    13357 Berlin
    Palais Podewil
    Klosterstr. 68
    10179 Berlin
    Philipp-Schaeffer-Bibliothek (Outdoor)
    Brunnenstraße 181
    10119 Berlin
    Polizeiwache am Alexanderplatz (Container) Alexanderplatz
    10178 Berlin
    Ribbeck-Haus
    Breite Straße 35
    10178 Berlin
    Rotes Rathaus (Outdoor)
    Jüdenstraße 1
    13597 Berlin
    Schwimmhalle Fischerinsel
    Fischerinsel 11
    10179 Berlin
    Selbst-Hilfe im Vor-Ruhestand e.V.
    Schönwalder Straße 4
    13347 Berlin
    Senatsverwaltung für Finanzen
    Klosterstraße 59
    10179 Berlin
    Senatsverwaltung für Integration, Arbeit und Soziales
    Potsdamer Straße 65
    10785 Berlin
    Seniorenfreizeitstätte 1
    Eichborndamm 215-239
    13437 Berlin
    Seniorenhaus (nicht öffentlich)
    Armenische Straße 12
    13349
    Sommerbad Humboldhain
    Wiesenstr. 1
    13357 Berlin
    Stadtbad Mitte
    Gartenstraße 5
    10115 Berlin
    Stadtbad Tiergarten
    Seydlitzstraße 7
    10557 Berlin
    Spy Museum Berlin
    Leipziger Platz 9
    10117 Berlin
    Theaterhaus Mitte
    Wallstraße 32
    10179 Berlin
    Torstraße
    Torstraße 139
    10119 Berlin
    Verwaltungsakademie (VAK)
    Turmstraße 86
    10559 Berlin
    Volksbühne
    Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz
    10178 Berlin
    Volkshochschule Mitte 1
    Linienstraße 162
    10115 Berlin
    Volkshochschule Mitte 2
    Antonstraße 37
    113347 Berlin
    Weinmeisterhaus
    Weinmeisterstraße 15
    10178 Berlin
    Wohnhaus
    Ackerstraße 105
    13355 Berlin
    Wohnhaus
    Ackerstraße 113
    13355 Berlin
    Wohnhaus
    Ackerstraße 115
    13355 Berlin
    Wohnhaus
    Bellermannstraße 73
    13357 Berlin
    Wohnhaus
    Bornemannstraße 14
    13357 Berlin
    Wohnhaus
    Buttmannstraße 15
    13357 Berlin
    Wohnhaus
    Gartenplatz 4
    13355 Berlin
    Wohnhaus
    Gartenstraße 57
    13355 Berlin
    Wohnhaus
    Gartenstraße 60
    13355 Berlin
    Wohnhaus
    Gartenstraße 63
    13355 Berlin
    Wohnhaus
    Gartenstraße 65
    13355 Berlin
    Wohnhaus
    Gerichtstraße 12
    13347 Berlin
    Wohnhaus
    Groninger Straße 48
    13347 Berlin
    Wohnhaus
    Holländer Straße 112
    13357 Berlin
    Wohnhaus
    Luxemburger Straße 1
    13353 Berlin
    Wohnhaus
    Luxemburger Straße 5
    13353 Berlin
    Wohnhaus
    Maxstraße 11
    13347 Berlin
    Wohnhaus
    Nazarethkirchstraße 49a
    13347 Berlin
    Wohnhaus
    Schulstraße 5
    13347 Berlin
    Wohnhaus
    Schulstraße 24
    13347 Berlin
    Wohnhaus
    Stockholmer Straße 24
    13359 Berlin
    Wohnhaus
    Schwyzer Straße 13
    13349 Berlin
    Wohnhaus
    Sparrstraße 19
    13353 Berlin
    Wohnhaus
    Syrische Straße 12
    13349 Berlin
    Wohnhaus
    Uferstraße 19
    13357 Berlin
    Wohnhaus
    Ungarnstraße 83
    13349 Berlin
    Wohnhaus
    Wiesenstraße 62
    13357 Berlin
    Wohnhaus
    Zechliner Straße 8
    13359 Berlin

    #Neukölln

    Abenteuerspielplatz Wildhüterweg
    Wildhüterweg 1
    12353 Berlin
    Alte Dorfschule Rudow
    Alt Rudow 60
    12355 Berlin
    Amtsgericht Neukölln (Karl-Marx-Straße)
    Karl-Marx-Straße 77
    12043 Berlin
    Bezirksamt Neukölln
    Blaschkoallee 32
    12359 Berlin
    Bezirksamt und Kinder Jugendgesundheitsdienst
    Neuköllner Straße 333
    12355 Berlin
    Britzer Garten
    Sangerhauser Weg 1
    12349 Berlin
    Bürgeramt Zwickauer Damm
    Zwickauer Damm 52
    12353 Berlin
    Finanzamt Neukölln
    Thiemannstraße 1
    12059 Berlin
    Gemeinschaftshaus Gropiusstadt
    Bat-Yam-Platz 1
    12353 Berlin
    Gesundheitsamt Neukölln Sozialpsychiatrischer Dienst
    Gutschmidtstraße 31
    12359 Berlin
    Jugendamt Neukölln
    Karl-Marx-Straße 83
    12043 Berlin
    Jugendclub Feuerwache (Indoor)
    Hannemannstraße 74
    12347 Berlin
    Jugendclub NW80 (Indoor)
    Neudecker Weg 80
    12355 Berlin
    Jugendclub Trapez
    Käthe-Frankenthal-Weg 12
    12355 Berlin
    Jugendclub UFO (Indoor)
    Lipschitzallee 27
    12351 Berlin
    Jugendzentrum Grenzallee
    Grenzallee 5
    12057 Berlin
    Jugendzentrum „Wilde Rübe“
    Wildenbruchstraße 25
    12045 Berlin
    Jugendzentrum Yo!22
    Oderstraße 22
    12051 Berlin
    Kombibad Gropiusstadt
    Lipschitzallee 27-33
    12351 Berlin
    Nachbarschaftszentrum
    Wutzkyallee 88
    12353 Berlin
    Ordnungsamt Neukölln
    Juliusstraße 67
    12051 Berlin
    Rathaus Neukölln
    Karl-Marx-Straße 83-85
    12043 Berlin
    Schloss Britz
    Alt-Britz 73
    12359 Berlin
    Sozialgericht Berlin
    Invalidenstraße 52
    10557 Berlin
    Volkshochschule Neukölln 1
    Elfriede Kuhr Straße 11
    12355 Berlin
    Volkshochschule Neukölln 2
    Werbellinstraße 77
    12053 Berlin
    Volkshochschule Neukölln 3
    Karlsgartenstraße 6
    12049 Berlin

    #Pankow

    Abenteuerlicher Bauspielplatz Kolle 37
    Kollwitzstraße 35
    10405 Berlin
    Abenteuerspielplatz Marie
    Marienburger Straße 46
    10405 Berlin
    Aktivspielplatz Franz B.
    Blankenfelder Str. 106
    13127 Berlin
    Albatros GmbH - Stadtteilzentrum im Turm
    Busonistraße 136
    13125 Berlin
    Amtsgericht Pankow - Weißensee I
    Kissingenstraße 5-6
    13189 Berlin
    Amtsgericht Pankow - Weißensee II
    Parkstraße 71
    13086 Berlin
    ASP Inge Abenteuerspielplatz Karow
    Ingwäonenweg 62
    13125 Berlin
    Begegnungsstätte An der Panke im Stadtteilzentrum
    Schönholzer Straße 10a
    13187 Berlin
    Begegnungsstätte Husemannstraße 12
    Husemannstraße 12
    10435 Berlin
    Begegnungsstätte Paul-Robeson-Straße
    Paul-Robeson-Straße 15
    Atelierhaus Prenzlauer Promenade
    Prenzlauer Promenade 149-152
    13189 Berlin
    Begegnungsstätte Tollerstraße 5
    Tollerstraße 5
    13158 Berlin
    Bildungszentrum am Antonplatz
    Bizetstraße 27
    13088 Berlin
    Botanischer Volkspark Blankenfelde
    Blankenfelder Chaussee 5
    13159 Berlin
    Brotfabrik
    Caligariplatz 1
    13086 Berlin
    Bürgeramt Karow (Buch)
    Franz-Schmidt-Straße 8-10
    13125 Berlin
    Bürgeramt Pankow
    Breite Straße 24a-26
    13187 Berlin
    Bürgeramt Prenzlauer Berg
    Fröbelstraße 17
    10405 Berlin
    Bürgeramt Weißensee
    Berliner Allee 252-260
    13088 Berlin
    Bürgerhaus BüHa gGmbH - Amtshaus Buchholz
    Berliner Straße 24
    13127 Berlin
    Club Atelier 89
    Hanns-Eisler-Straße 7
    10409 Berlin
    Der Alte
    Wiltbergstraße 27
    13125 Berlin
    Der Würfel - Netzwerk Spielkultur
    Wolfgang-Heinz-Straße 45
    13125 Berlin
    Eliashof
    Senefelderstraße 6
    10407 Berlin
    Experimentalbox-Jugendmedienclub
    Hosemannstraße 14
    10409 Berlin
    Familienzentrum - Der Blankenburger
    Gernroder Straße 6
    13129 Berlin
    Schabracke (Indoor)
    Pestalozzistraße 8 A
    13187 Berlin
    Familienzentrum Upsala
    Upsalaer Str. 6
    13189 Berlin
    Finanzamt Pankow (Weißensee) + Finanzamt Prenzlauer Berg
    Storkower Straße 134
    10407 Berlin
    Galerie Pankow
    Breite Straße 8
    13187 Berlin
    Gartenhaus an der Marie
    Winsstraße 49
    10405 Berlin
    Haus der Jugend Bunte Kuh
    Bernkasteler Straße 78
    13088 Berlin
    Heinz-Brandt-Schule (Schülerklub)
    Langhansstr. 120
    13086 Berlin
    JFE Fallobst (Indoor)
    Ibsenstraße 17
    10439 Berlin
    JFE Oktopus
    Parkstraße 12/14
    13137 Berlin
    Jugendclub Maxim (Indoor)
    Charlottenburger Straße 117
    13086 Berlin
    Jugendfarm Moritzhof (Indoor)
    Schwedter Straße 90
    10437 Berlin
    Jugendförderung Pankow Info
    Berliner Allee 252
    13088 Berlin
    Jugendfreizeiteinrichtung K14
    Achillesstraße 14
    13125 Berlin
    Jugenfreizeiteinrichtung M24
    Mahlerstraße 20
    13088 Berlin
    Jugendfreizeitstätte M24 (Indoor)
    Mühlenstraße 24
    13187 Berlin
    Jugendfreizeitstätte M24 Garage Pankow
    Hadlichstraße 3
    13187 Berlin
    Jugendhaus Königstadt (Indoor)
    Saarbrücker Straße 22
    10405 Berlin
    Jugendnetzwerk Lambda
    Sonnenburger Straße 69
    10437 Berlin
    JUP - Unabhängiges Jugendzentrum Pankow
    Florastraße 84
    13187 Berlin
    Kinderclub - Der Würfel (Netzwerk Spielkultur)
    Wolfgang-Heinz-Straße 45
    13125 Berlin
    Kinderfreizeiteinrichtung Kulti (Indoor)
    Majakowskiring 58
    13156 Berlin
    Kinderfreizeiteinrichtung Rakäthe (HvD)
    Esmarchstraße 27
    10407 Berlin
    Kinderkiezclub Rangeburg
    Brixener Straße 40
    12187 Berlin
    Kinderring Berlin e.V. (Indoor)
    Langhansstraße 23
    13086 Berlin
    Kinder- u. Jugendfreizeiteinrichtung Toller (Indoor)
    Tollerstraße 31
    13158 Berlin
    Kinder- und Jugendzentrum W24
    Wichertstraße 24
    10439 Berlin
    Kulturbrauerei
    Schönhauser Allee 36
    10435 Berlin
    Landhaus Rosenthal (Indoor)
    Hauptstraße 94
    13158 Berlin
    Machmit! Museum für Kinder
    Senefelderstraße 5
    10437 Berlin
    Max-Schmeling-Halle
    Falkplatz 1
    10437 Berlin
    Musikschule Béla Bartók
    Am Schloßpark 20
    13187 Berlin
    OSZ Gastgewerbe
    Buschallee 23a
    13088 Berlin
    Pädagogisch betreuter Spielplatz -ASP Franz B.
    Blankenfelder Straße 106
    13127 Berlin
    Prater (Biergarten) (Outdoor)
    Kastanienallee 7
    10435 Berlin
    Schwimmhalle Ernst-Thälmann-Park
    Lilli-Henoch-Straße 20
    10405 Berlin
    Schwimmhalle Thomas-Mann-Straße
    Thomas-Mann-Straße 3
    10409 Berlin
    Sebastian-Haffner-Zentrum
    Prenzlauer Allee 227
    10405 Berlin
    Selbsthilfe- und Nachbarschaftshaus Frei-Zeit-Haus e.V.
    Pistoriusstraße 23
    13088 Berlin
    Seniorenclub Hermsdorf
    Berliner Straße 105-107
    13467 Berlin
    Sommerbad Pankow
    Wolfshagener Straße 91-93
    13187 Berlin
    SportJugendClub Buch
    Karower Chaussee 169C
    13125 Berlin
    SportJugendzentrum
    Lychener Straße 75
    10437 Berlin
    Stadtteilzentrum am Teutoburger Platz
    Fehrbelliner Straße 92
    10119 Berlin
    Zeiss-Großplanetarium
    Prenzlauer Allee 80
    10405 Berlin

    #Reinickendorf

    Bürgeramt Heiligensee
    Ruppiner Chaussee 268
    13503 Berlin
    Bürgeramt Tegel
    Berliner Straße 35
    13507 Berlin
    Finanzamt Reinickendorf
    Eichborndamm 208
    13403 Berlin
    Freizeitclub Tegel
    Alt-Tegel 43
    13507 Berlin
    Freizeitclub Heiligensee
    Alt-Heiligensee 39
    13503 Berlin
    Freizeitzentrum für Senioren und Behinderte
    Adelheidallee 5
    13507 Berlin
    Gesobau-Zentrale
    Wilhelmsruher Damm 142
    13439 Berlin
    Gesobau-Zentrale Rückseite
    Wilhelmsruher Damm 142
    13439 Berlin
    Jugendamt Reinickendorf
    Nimrodstraße 4-14
    13469 Berlin
    Märkisches Zentrum – Brunnenplatz
    Senftenberger Ring 3
    13435 Berlin
    Märkisches Zentrum – Marktplatz
    Senftenberger Ring 13
    13435 Berlin
    Ordnungsamt Reinickendorf
    Lübener Weg 26
    13407 Berlin
    Paracelsus-Bad
    Roedernallee 200-204
    13407 Berlin
    Ribbeck-Haus
    Senftenberger Ring 54
    13435 Berlin
    Seniorenfreizeitstätte 2
    Stargardtstraße 3
    13407 Berlin
    Spielplatz Finsterwalder Straße
    Finsterwalder Straße 68A
    13435 Berlin
    Spielplatz
    Wilhelmsruher Damm 111
    13439 Berlin
    Spielplatz Wilhelmsruher Damm
    Wilhelmsruher Damm 139
    13439 Berlin
    Sportplatz Aroser Allee (Outdoor)
    Aroser Allee 184
    13407 Berlin
    Sportplatz Berliner Straße
    Berliner Straße 75
    13507 Berlin
    Sportplatz Elchdamm
    Elchdamm 171
    13503 Berlin
    Sportplatz Finsterwalder Straße (Outdoor)
    Finsterwalder Straße 58
    13435 Berlin
    Sportplatz Freiheitsweg
    Freiheitsweg 20-26
    13407 Berlin
    Sportplatz Göschenstraße (Outdoor)
    Göschenstraße 7
    13437 Berlin
    Sporthalle Hatzfeldtallee
    Hatzfeldtallee 19-25
    13509 Berlin
    Sportplatz Hatzfeldtallee (Outdoor)
    Hatzfeldtallee 33
    13509 Berlin
    Sportplatz Stadt Reinickendorf (Outdoor)
    Heidenheimer Straße 53
    13467 Berlin
    Sportplatz Kienhorststraße
    Kienhorststraße 170
    13403 Berlin
    Sportplatz Welzower Steig (Outdoor)
    Königshorster Straße 13
    13439 Berlin
    Sportplatz Ollenhauer Straße
    Ollenhauerstr. 64 E
    13403 Berlin
    Sportanlage am Schäfersee
    Rütlistraße 19
    13407 Berlin
    Sportplatz Schluchseestraße
    Schluchseestraße 73
    13469 Berlin
    Sportanlage Schönfließer Straße (Outdoor)
    Schönfließer Straße 19
    13465 Berlin
    Sportplatz Seebadstraße
    Seebadstraße 38
    13467 Berlin
    Sportanlage Thurgauer Straße
    Thurgauer Str. 55
    13407 Berlin
    Sportplatz Tietzstraße
    Tietzstraße 33-41
    13509 Berlin
    Sportanlage Scharnweberstraße
    Uranusweg 34
    13405 Berlin
    Stadtbad Märkisches Viertel
    Wilhelmsruher Damm 142D
    13439 Berlin
    Tourismuspavillon Tegel
    Alt-Tegel
    13507 Berlin
    VHS + Musikschule Frohnau
    Fuchssteiner Weg 13-19
    13465 Berlin
    Wohnhaus
    Borsigwalder Weg 24
    13509 Berlin
    Wohnhaus
    Borsigwalder Weg 44
    13509 Berlin
    Wohnhaus
    Conradstraße 41
    13509 Berlin
    Wohnhaus
    Finsterwalder Straße 13
    13435 Berlin
    Wohnhaus
    Klinnerweg 59
    13509 Berlin
    Wohnhaus
    Räuschstraße 40
    13509 Berlin
    Wohnhaus
    Senftenberger Ring 12
    13435 Berlin
    Wohnhaus
    Senftenberger Ring 44e
    13435 Berlin
    Wohnhaus
    Senftenberger Ring 70
    13435 Berlin
    Wohnhaus
    Tietzstraße 55
    13509 Berlin
    Wohnhaus
    Wilhelmsruher Damm 228
    13435 Berlin

    #Spandau

    Amtsgericht Spandau
    Altstädter Ring 7
    13597 Berlin
    Bürgerbüro Wasserstadt
    Hugo-Cassirer-Straße 48
    13587 Berlin
    Bürodienstgebäude
    Klosterstraße 36
    13581 Berlin
    Carlo-Schmid-Oberschule
    Lutoner Straße 15
    13581 Berlin
    Christian-Morgenstern-Grundschule
    Räcknitzer Steig 12
    13593 Berlin
    DG Galenstraße (Ordnungs-, Sozial u. Gesundheitsamt)
    Galenstraße 14
    13597 Berlin
    DG Jugendamt
    Hermann-Schmidt-Weg 8
    13589 Berlin
    DG Jugendamt Goldbeckweg
    Goldbeckweg 25
    13599 Berlin
    Finanzamt Spandau
    Nonnendammallee 21
    13599 Berlin
    Fredy-Stach-Sportpark
    Ruhlebener Straße 175
    13597 Berlin
    Freiherr vom Stein Gymnasium
    Galenstraße 40-44
    13597 Berlin
    Helmut-Schleusener-Stadion
    Falkenseer Chaussee 280
    13583 Berlin
    JFE Nachbarschaftshaus Kladow
    Parnemannweg 22
    14089 Berlin
    Jonas’ Haus (Indoor)
    Schulstraße 3
    13591 Berlin
    Klubhaus - Spandau (Indoor)
    Westerwaldstraße 13
    13589 Berlin
    Kombibad Spandau-Süd
    Gatower Straße 19
    13595 Berlin
    Kunstremise Alte Stadtmauer
    Jüdenstraße 1
    13597 Berlin
    Martin-Buber-Oberschule
    Im Spektefeld 33
    13589 Berlin
    Rathaus Spandau
    Carl-Schurz-Straße 2/6
    13597 Berlin
    Seniorenklub Hakenfelde
    Helen-Keller-Weg 10
    13587 Berlin
    Seniorenklub Lindenufer
    Mauerstraße 10A
    13597 Berlin
    Seniorenklub Südpark
    Weverstraße 38
    13595 Berlin
    Seniorenwohnhaus (Indoor)
    Rockenhausener Straße 12
    13583 Berlin
    Seniorenwohnhaus Wilhelmstadt (Indoor)
    Adamstraße 27
    13595 Berlin
    Sportanlage Grüngürtel
    Askanierring 149
    13585 Berlin
    Sportanlage Hakenfelde
    Hakenfelder Straße 29
    13587 Berlin
    Sportanlage Haselhorst
    Daumstraße 35
    13599 Berlin
    Sportanlage Jaczostraße
    Sandheideweg 29
    13595 Berlin
    Sportanlage Neuendorfer Straße
    Askanierring 86
    13587 Berlin
    Sportanlage Spandauer Straße
    Spandauer Straße 80
    13591 Berlin
    Sportanlage Spektefeld
    Im Spektefeld 27
    13589 Berlin
    Sportpark Staaken
    Am Kurzen Weg 9
    13591 Berlin
    Sportanlage Staaken West
    Brunsbütteler Damm 441
    13591 Berlin
    Sportanlage Teltower Schanze
    Elsengrabenweg 19
    13597 Berlin
    Sportanalage Werderstraße
    Goltzstraße 41
    13587 Berlin
    Sportanlage Wilhelmstraße
    Wilhelmstraße 10
    13595 Berlin
    Sporthalle der Linden-Grundschule
    Staakener Feldstraße 6-8
    13591 Berlin
    Sporthalle der Martin-Buber-Oberschule
    Im Spektefeld 33
    13589 Berlin
    Stadtbad Spandau-Nord
    Radelandstr. 1
    13589 Berlin
    Wassersportheim Gatow
    Alt-Gatow 5-7
    14089 Berlin
    Wohnhaus
    Schönwalderstraße 1
    13585 Berlin
    Zitadelle Spandau (Outdoor)
    Am Juliusturm 64
    13599 Berlin

    #Steglitz-Zehlendorf

    Bibliothek Lankwitz
    Bruchwitzstraße 37
    12247 Berlin
    Bürgeramt Lankwitz
    Gallwitzallee 87
    12249 Berlin
    Bürgeramt Zehlendorf
    Kirchstraße 1/3
    14163 Berlin
    Bürgertreff Lichterfelde West
    Hans-Sachs-Straße 4
    12205 Berlin
    Ernst-Reuter-Sportfeld
    Onkel-Tom-Straße 40
    14169 Berlin
    Finanzamt Steglitz
    Schloßstraße 58-59
    12165 Berlin
    Finanzamt Zehlendorf
    Martin-Buber-Straße 20-21
    14163 Berlin
    Haus am Waldsee
    Argentinische Allee 30
    14163 Berlin
    Haus der Jugend Zehlendorf
    Argentinische Allee 28
    14163 Berlin
    Haus der Musik
    Grabertstraße 4
    12169 Berlin
    Haus der Wannsee Konferenz
    Am Großen Wannsee 56
    14109 Berlin
    Hertha-Müller-Haus
    Argentinische Allee 89
    14163 Berlin
    Jugendfreizeiteinrichtung Düppel
    Haus 9
    Lissabonallee 6/9
    14129 Berlin
    Kommunikationszentrum am Ostpreußendamm
    Ostpreußendamm 52
    12207 Berlin
    Kunsthaus Dahlem
    Käuzchensteig 8-12
    14159 Berlin
    Leo-Borchard-Musikschule
    Martin-Buber-Straße 21
    14163 Berlin
    Museumsdorf Düppel
    Clauertstraße 11
    14163 Berlin
    Ordnungsamt Steglitz-Zehlendorf
    Unter den Eichen 1
    12203 Berlin
    Rathaus Lankwitz
    Hanna-Renate-Laurien-Platz 1
    12247 Berlin
    Schwartzsche Villa
    Grunewaldstraße 55
    12165 Berlin
    Schwimmhalle Finckensteinallee
    Finckensteinallee 73
    12205 Berlin
    Schwimmhalle Hüttenweg
    Hüttenweg 41
    14195 Berlin
    Seniorenclub Lankwitz (Maria-Rimkus-Haus)
    Gallwitzallee 53
    12249 Berlin
    Seniorenfreizeitstätte Hans-Rosenthal-Haus (Indoor)
    Bolchener Straße 5
    14167 Berlin
    Seniorenfreizeitstätte Süd (Indoor)
    Teltower Damm 226
    14167 Berlin
    Seniorenclub Steglitz
    Selerweg 18-22
    12169 Berlin
    Seniorengruppe Griechische Gemeinde Berlin
    Mittelstraße 33
    12167 Berlin
    Stadion Lichterfelde
    Ostpreußendamm 3-11
    12207 Berlin
    Stadtbad Lankwitz
    Leonorenstaße 39
    12247 Berlin
    Strandbad Wannsee
    Wannseebadweg 25
    14129 Berlin
    Volkshochschule Steglitz-Zehlendorf Rondellstraße
    Rondellstraße 5
    14163 Berlin
    Volkshochschule Zehlendorf
    Markgrafenstraße 3
    14163 Berlin
    Werk 9
    Markgrafenstraße 26
    10117 Berlin
    Wichura-Club
    Wichurastraße 59
    12249 Berlin
    Wohnungsamt Steglitz-Zehlendorf
    Auf dem Grat 2
    14195 Berlin

    #Tempelhof-Schöneberg

    Amtsgericht Schöneberg I
    Grunewaldstraße 66-67
    10823 Berlin
    Bereitschaftsgericht
    Tempelhofer Damm 12
    12101 Berlin
    Café Pink (Indoor)
    Goltzstraße 40
    10781 Berlin
    Finanzamt für Fahndung und Strafsachen
    Ullsteinstraße 66
    12109 Berlin
    Finanzamt Schöneberg + Finanzamt Steglitz
    Sarrazinstraße 4
    12159 Berlin
    Finanzamt Tempelhof
    Tempelhofer Damm 234-236
    12099 Berlin
    Gebäude auf dem Tempelhofer Feld
    Columbiadamm 10
    12101 Berlin
    Haus am Kleistpark Musikschule Schöneberg
    Grunewaldstraße 6/7
    10823 Berlin
    Haus of fun (Indoor)
    Tirschenreuther Ring 67
    12279 Berlin
    Jugendfreizeiteinrichtung Bungalow (Indoor)
    Mariendorfer Damm 117
    12109 Berlin
    Jugendfreizeiteinrichtung Hessenring (Indoor)
    Hessenring 47
    12101 Berlin
    Jugendclub Sonnetreff
    Am Hellespont 6
    12109 Berlin
    Juxikus
    Barbarossastraße 65
    10781 Berlin
    Kammergericht
    Elßholzstraße 30-33
    10781 Berlin
    Kombibad Mariendorf
    Ankogelweg 95
    12107 Berlin
    Natur-Park Schöneberger Südgelände
    Prellerweg 47-49
    12157 Berlin
    Planetarium und Wilhelm-Foerster-Sternwarte am Insulaner
    Munsterdamm 90
    12169 Berlin
    Senatsverwaltung für Justiz, Verbraucherschutz und Antidiskriminierung
    Salzburger Straße 21-25
    10825 Berlin
    Senatsverwaltung für Wirtschaft, Energie und Betriebe
    Martin-Luther-Straße 105
    10825 Berlin
    Seniorenfreizeitstätte (Indoor)
    Boelckestraße 102
    12101 Berlin
    Sport- und Lehrschwimmhalle Schöneberg
    Sachsendamm 11
    10829 Berlin
    Tempelhofer Feld
    Tempelhofer Damm
    12101 Berlin
    Tempelhofer Feld
    Tempelhofer Damm
    12101 Berlin
    Tempelhof Museum
    Alt-Mariendorf 43
    12107 Berlin
    Volkshochschule-Kolleg
    Nürnberger Straße 63
    10787 Berlin

    #Treptow-Köpenick

    Abenteuerspielplatz Köpenick (Outdoor)
    Alte Kaulsdorfer Straße 18
    12555 Berlin
    Abenteuerspielplatz Waslala
    Venusstraße 88
    12524 Berlin
    Amt für Soziales
    Hans-Schmidt-Straße 18
    12489 Berlin
    Archenhold Sternenwarte
    Alt-Treptow 1
    12435 Berlin
    Bezirksamt Treptow-Köpenick Jugendamt
    Hans-Schmidt-Straße 10
    12489 Berlin
    Bölscheclub
    Bölschestraße 67
    12587 Berlin
    Bürgerhaus Altglienicke
    Ortolfstraße 184
    12524 Berlin
    Dokumentationszentrum NS-Zwangsarbeit
    Britzer Straße 5
    12439 Berlin
    Esswirtschaft Forum
    Rudower Chaussee 24
    12489 Berlin
    FEZ-Berlin (Indoor)
    Straße zum FEZ 0
    12459 Berlin
    Finanzamt Treptow-Köpenick
    Seelenbinderstraße 99
    12555 Berlin
    Gesundheitsamt Treptow-Köpenick
    Hans-Schmidt-Straße 16
    12489 Berlin
    Haus der Jugend Köpenick
    Seelenbinderstraße 54
    12555 Berlin
    Innovations- und Gründerzentrum
    Rudower Chaussee 29
    12489 Berlin
    JFE Bude
    Alfred-Randt-Straße 60
    12559 Berlin
    JFE Fairness
    Ehrenfelder Straße 25
    12524 Berlin
    JFE WK 14
    Weiskopffstraße 14
    12459 Berlin
    Johannes-Bobrowski-Bibliothek
    Peter-Hille-Straße 1
    12587 Berlin
    Joseph-Schmidt Musikschule
    Hans-Schmidt-Straße 6-8
    12489 Berlin
    Jugendamt Treptow-Köpenick
    Groß-Berliner-Damm 154
    12489 Berlin
    JuJo Jugendzentrum Johannisthal (Indoor)
    Winckelmannstraße 56
    12487 Berlin
    Kietz Klub Köpenick
    Köpenzeile 117
    12557 Berlin
    Modellpark Wuhlheide
    An der Wuhlheide 81
    12459 Berlin
    Myliusgarten
    12587 Berlin
    Nachbarschaftszentrum Grünau
    Wassersportallee 34
    12527 Berlin
    Ordnungsamt Treptow-Köpenick
    Salvador-Allende-Straße 80 A
    12559 Berlin
    Schutzhülle EV
    Rinkartstraße 13
    12437 Berlin
    Schwimmhalle Allendeviertel
    Pablo-Neruda-Straße 5
    12559 Berlin
    Schwimmhalle Baumschulenweg
    Neue Krugallee 209
    12437 Berlin
    Sozio-Kulturelles Zentrum Ratz-Fatz
    Schnellerstraße 81
    12439 Berlin
    Spreepark Info-Pavillon
    Kiehnwerderallee 1
    12437 Berlin
    Wista Hauptgebäude
    Rudower Chaussee 17
    12489 Berlin
    Zentrum für Biotechnologie und Umwelt 1
    Volmerstraße 7
    12489 Berlin
    Zentrum für Biotechnologie und Umwelt 2
    Magnusstraße 11
    12489 Berlin
    Zentrum für IT und Medien
    Albert-Einstein-Straße 14
    12489 Berlin
    Zentrum für Photovoltaik und Erneuerbare Energien
    Johann-Hittorf-Straße 8
    12489 Berlin

    #Berlin #WiFi #WLAN #kostenlos

  • Αίτημα επιστροφής 1.500 προσφύγων στην Τουρκία κατέθεσε η Ελλάδα στην Ε.Ε.
    –-> La Grèce demande à l’UE le #retour de 1 500 réfugiés en Turquie.

    Αίτημα προς την Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή και τη Frontex για την άμεση επιστροφή 1.450 προσώπων, των οποίων έχουν απορριφθεί τα αιτήματα παροχής ασύλου, κατέθεσε το υπουργείο Μετανάστευσης και Ασύλου, επικαλούμενο την Κοινή Δήλωση Ε.Ε.-Τουρκίας. Ωστόσο να σημειωθεί ότι πλέον η έκδοση των αποφάσεων παροχής ασύλου σε πρώτο βαθμό γίνονται με διαδικασίες εξπρές, μη εξασφαλίζοντας επαρκή νομική βοήθεια και κατά συνέπεια δίκαιη απόφαση.

    Στην ανακοίνωση του υπουργείου Μετανάστευσης αναφέρεται ότι η Ελλάδα ζητά να επιστρέψουν στην Τουρκία 955 αλλοδαποί που μπήκαν στη χώρα μας από την Τουρκία και βρίσκονται στη Λέσβο, 180 που βρίσκονται στη Χίο, 128 που βρίσκονται στη Σάμο και 187 στην Κω, επισημαίνοντας ότι τα αιτήματά τους για άσυλο έχουν απορριφθεί τελεσίδικα και ως εκ τούτου είναι επιστρεπτέοι, βάσει της Κοινής Δήλωσης ΕΕ- Τουρκίας.

    Το πρώτο δίμηνο του 2020 καταγράφηκαν συνολικά 139 επιστροφές προς την Τουρκία, με τη διαδικασία να έχει σταματήσει από τις 15 Μαρτίου 2020, καθώς η Τουρκία επικαλέστηκε τις δυσκολίες που επέφερε το ξέσπασμα της πανδημίας του κορονοϊού. Πλέον, το υπουργείο Μετανάστευσης ισχυρίζεται ότι « οι ταχείες διαδικασίες ελέγχων για κορονοϊό στην Ελλάδα και η σημαντική επιτάχυνση της διαδικασίας ασύλου, έχουν δημιουργήσει τις κατάλληλες συνθήκες για την επανέναρξη της διαδικασίας επιστροφών με ασφάλεια όσων αλλοδαπών δεν δικαιούνται διεθνούς προστασίας και εισήλθαν στην Ελλάδα από την Τουρκία ».

    Ο υπουργός Μετανάστευσης και Ασύλου, Νότης Μηταράκης, επισημαίνει στη δήλωσή του ότι η Ελλάδα αναμένει από την Τουρκία « να ενισχύσει τις προσπάθειες στα πλαίσια της Κοινής Δήλωσης : πρώτον, στην αποτροπή διέλευσης βαρκών που ξεκινούν από τα παράλιά της με προορισμό τη χώρα μας. Δεύτερον, στην αποδοχή επιστροφών στη βάση της Κοινής Δήλωσης Ε.Ε.-Τουρκίας, αλλά και των διμερών συμφωνιών επανεισδοχής ».

    Και αναφερόμενος στην ευρωπαϊκή πολιτική για το προσφυγικό/μεταναστευτικό, σημειώνει ότι « το ζητούμενο για την Ευρώπη είναι να κατοχυρώσει στο νέο Σύμφωνο Μετανάστευσης και Ασύλου έναν κοινό μηχανισμό, καθώς και το απαραίτητο νομικό οπλοστάσιο για επιστροφές. Και να οχυρώσει, με αυτόν τον τρόπο, τις χώρες πρώτης υποδοχής απέναντι σε ανεξέλεγκτες μεταναστευτικές ροές, αλλά και τη δράση κυκλωμάτων λαθροδιακινητών ».

    Την ίδια ώρα, με αφορμή το αίτημα του ελληνικού υπουργείου Μετανάστευσης και Ασύλου προς την Κομισιόν και τη Frontex, η οργάνωση-ομπρέλα για τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα HIAS Greece εξέδωσε ανακοίνωση στην οποία σημειώνει ότι η ταχεία διαδικασία που ακολουθείται για την εξέταση των αιτημάτων ασύλου δεν εξασφαλίζει σωστή και δίκαιη απόφαση.

    Επίσης οι αιτούντες άσυλο δεν έχουν επαρκή νομική βοήθεια και η διαδικασία της προσφυγής σε δεύτερο βαθμό είναι νομικά περίπλοκη, ουσιαστικά αποτρέποντας τους πρόσφυγες από να διεκδικήσουν την παραμονή τους στη χώρα.

    « Καθίσταται σαφές ότι χωρίς νομική συνδρομή είναι αδύνατον οι αιτούντες/ούσες άσυλο να παρουσιάσουν εγγράφως και μάλιστα στην ελληνική γλώσσα, τους νομικούς και πραγματικούς λόγους για τους οποίους προσφεύγουν κατά της απορριπτικής τους απόφασης », σημειώνει μεταξύ άλλων, τονίζοντας επίσης :

    « Η έλλειψη δωρεάν νομικής συνδρομής αποβαίνει εις βάρος του δίκαιου και αποτελεσματικού χαρακτήρα που θα έπρεπε να διακρίνει τη διαδικασία ασύλου στο σύνολό της, ιδίως αν ληφθούν υπόψη οι εξαιρετικά σύντομες προθεσμίες που προβλέπονται για διαδικασία των συνόρων και τα σημαντικά κενά στη πρόσβαση σε νομική συνδρομή ήδη από το πρώτο βαθμό της διαδικασίας ασύλου ».

    https://www.efsyn.gr/node/276785

    –—

    Traduction de Vicky Skoumbi via la mailing-list Migeurop :

    Le ministère de l’Immigration et de l’Asile a soumis une demande à la Commission européenne et à #Frontex pour le #retour_immédiat de 1 450 personnes dont la demande d’asile a été rejetée, citant la déclaration commune UE-Turquie. Cependant, il convient de noter que désormais, les décisions d’asile en première instance sont prises par des procédures expresses, sans que soit assuré une aide juridique suffisante au requérant, ce qui pourrait garantir une décision équitable.

    L’annonce du ministère de l’Immigration indique que la Grèce demande le retour en Turquie de 955 étrangers qui sont entrés dans notre pays depuis la Turquie et se trouvent à #Lesbos, 180 à #Chios, 128 à #Samos et 187 à #Kos, notant que leurs demandes d’asile ont été définitivement rejetés et qu’il est possible de les renvoyer, en vertu de la déclaration commune UE-Turquie. Au cours des deux premiers mois de 2020, un total de 139 #retours_forcés en Turquie ont été enregistrés, un processus qui est au point mort depuis le 15 mars 2020, date à laquelle la Turquie a évoqué les difficultés supplémentaires causées par l’apparition de la #pandémie de #coronavirus.

    Désormais, le ministère de l’Immigration affirme que "les procédures de #dépistage_rapide du coronavirus en Grèce et l’accélération significative du processus d’asile, ont créé les bonnes conditions pour la #reprise en toute sécurité du processus de retour des étrangers qui n’ont pas droit à une protection internationale et sont entrés en Grèce depuis la Turquie. ». Le ministre de l’Immigration et de l’Asile, #Notis_Mitarakis, souligne dans sa déclaration que la Grèce attend de la Turquie "un renforcement des efforts dans le cadre de la Déclaration commune : premièrement, pour empêcher le passage des bateaux partant de ses côtes vers notre pays". Deuxièmement, par l’acceptation des retours sur la base de la déclaration commune UE-Turquie, mais aussi des accords bilatéraux de #réadmission ". Faisant référence à la politique européenne des réfugiés / immigration, il a noté que « l’objectif de l’Europe est d’établir un mécanisme commun dans le nouveau pacte d’immigration et d’asile, ainsi que l’arsenal juridique nécessaire pour les retours. Et de fortifier, de cette manière, les premiers pays d’accueil contre les flux migratoires incontrôlés, mais aussi l’action des réseaux de passeurs ".

    Dans le même temps, à l’occasion de la demande du ministère grec de l’Immigration et de l’asile à la Commission et à Frontex, l’organisation de défense des droits de l’homme HIAS Greece a publié une déclaration dans laquelle elle note que la procédure rapide suivie pour l’examen des demandes d’asile ne garantit pas décision juste et équitable. De plus, les demandeurs d’asile ne bénéficient pas d’une aide juridique suffisante et la procédure de recours en deuxième instance est juridiquement compliquée, ce qui empêche les réfugiés de défendre leur droit de séjour dans le pays. « Il devient clair que sans assistance juridique, il est impossible pour les demandeurs d’asile de présenter par écrit et qui plus est en langue grecque, les raisons juridiques et réelles pour lesquelles ils font appel de la décision de rejet de leur demande », notent-t-ils, entre autres, en soulignant : « L’absence d’assistance juridique gratuite se fait au détriment du caractère équitable et efficace de la #procédure_d'asile dans son ensemble, en particulier compte tenu des délais extrêmement courts prévus de la #procédure_à_la_frontière (#Border_procedure) et des lacunes importantes déjà en matière d’accès à l’#aide_juridique, dès la première instance de la procédure d’asile ".

    #Grèce #Turquie #asile #migrations #renvois #expulsions #réfugiés #accord_UE-Turquie #déboutés

    ping @isskein @karine4

    • « Ναι » στις επιστροφές μεταναστών λέει η Τουρκία

      Πρόκειται για αίτημα που κατέθεσε την περασμένη εβδομάδα στην Ε.Ε. και στον Frontex ο υπουργός Μετανάστευσης και Ασύλου Νότης Μηταράκης.

      Θετική ανταπόκριση της Τουρκίας στο ελληνικό αίτημα για επιστροφή 1.450 αλλοδαπών των οποίων τα αιτήματα ασύλου έχουν απορριφθεί τελεσιδίκως προκύπτει από τη χθεσινή συνάντηση του αντιπροέδρου της Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής Μαργαρίτη Σχοινά με τον Τούρκο υπουργό Εξωτερικών Μεβλούτ Τσαβούσογλου. Πρόκειται για αίτημα που κατέθεσε την περασμένη εβδομάδα στην Επιτροπή και στον Frontex ο υπουργός Μετανάστευσης και Ασύλου Νότης Μηταράκης. Ο κ. Τσαβούσογλου, σύμφωνα με πληροφορίες της εφημερίδας Καθημερινη , είπε ότι το ζήτημα θα επιλυθεί με ορίζοντα τον Μάρτιο.

      Σύμφωνα με τις ίδιες πληροφορίες, η συνάντηση με τον κ. Σχοινά –η πρώτη μεταξύ των δύο ανδρών– διήρκεσε μία ώρα και συζητήθηκαν όλα τα θέματα αρμοδιότητος του αντιπροέδρου : το μεταναστευτικό, η ασφάλεια, ο διαθρησκειακός διάλογος και οι επαφές μεταξύ των λαών. Κοινοτικές πηγές αναφέρουν ότι, ενόψει της Συνόδου Κορυφής του Μαρτίου και της έκθεσης Μπορέλ για τις ευρωτουρκικές σχέσεις, είναι επιτακτική ανάγκη η οικοδόμηση ενός πλαισίου θετικής συνεννόησης και η αποφυγή διχαστικών δηλώσεων που θα οξύνουν εκ νέου τις εντάσεις. Ο κ. Τσαβούσογλου κάλεσε τον κ. Σχοινά να συμμετάσχει ως κεντρικός ομιλητής στο Φόρουμ της Αττάλειας τον προσεχή Ιούνιο.

      Σε θετικό κλίμα εξελίχθηκε και η συνάντηση του Τούρκου υπουργού με την επίτροπο Εσωτερικών Υποθέσεων Ιλβα Γιόχανσον. Τα βασικά θέματα τα οποία συζήτησαν, σύμφωνα με πληροφορίες, ήταν οι δεσμεύσεις των δύο πλευρών όπως απορρέουν από την Κοινή Δήλωση Ε.Ε. – Τουρκίας για τη διαχείριση του μεταναστευτικού και τα προαπαιτούμενα με τα οποία πρέπει να συμμορφωθεί η Αγκυρα για να υπάρξει πρόοδος στο θέμα της απελευθέρωσης των θεωρήσεων. Ο κ. Τσαβούσογλου συναντήθηκε επίσης με τον Ζοζέπ Μπορέλ και τον επίτροπο Διεύρυνσης Ολιβερ Βαρχέλι, ενώ είχε και ένα σύντομο τετ α τετ με την Ούρσουλα φον ντερ Λάιεν. Σε δηλώσεις του πριν από τη δική του συνάντηση με τον κ. Τσαβούσογλου, ο ύπατος εκπρόσωπος της Ε.Ε. για την Εξωτερική Πολιτική χαρακτήρισε το 2020 « περίπλοκο έτος » για τις σχέσεις των δύο πλευρών. « Πρόσφατα όμως », πρόσθεσε ο κ. Μπορέλ, « έχουμε δει βελτίωση της ατμόσφαιρας » και « κάποια σημαντικά βήματα » στην αναζήτηση « κοινών στρατηγικών συμφερόντων ».

      « Ενα θετικό βήμα είναι η ανακοινωθείσα επανέναρξη των διερευνητικών συνομιλιών μεταξύ Ελλάδας και Τουρκίας », είπε ο κ. Μπορέλ, σημειώνοντας : « Πρέπει να υπάρξει επιμονή σε αυτές τις προσπάθειες. Προθέσεις και ανακοινώσεις πρέπει να μεταφραστούν σε πράξεις ». Επανέλαβε δε την « πλήρη δέσμευση » της Ε.Ε. να στηρίξει την « ταχεία επανέναρξη » των διαπραγματεύσεων για το Κυπριακό, υπό την αιγίδα του γ.γ. του ΟΗΕ. « Είναι ισχυρή μας επιθυμία να υπάρξει μια αποκλιμάκωση διαρκείας στην Ανατ. Μεσόγειο και στην ευρύτερη περιοχή και είμαι βέβαιος ότι μπορούμε να έχουμε ένα διάλογο ουσίας για να ενισχύσουμε τις πολιτικές διαδικασίες που συνδέονται με συγκρούσεις στην περιοχή, στη Λιβύη, στη Συρία ή στο Ναγκόρνο-Καραμπάχ », είπε.

      Επιπλέον, « με πλήρη αμοιβαίο σεβασμό, θα μιλήσουμε ειλικρινά και ανοιχτά για την πολιτική κατάσταση στην Τουρκία και τις προοπτικές ένταξης [της χώρας στην Ε.Ε.] », ανέφερε ο κ. Μπορέλ. Μιλώντας νωρίτερα στο Ευρωκοινοβούλιο, ο ύπατος εκπρόσωπος επανέλαβε τις ανησυχίες της Ε.Ε. για τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα στην Τουρκία. Εκανε αναφορά στις υποθέσεις Ντεμιρτάς και Καβαλά αλλά και στις « βαθιά ανησυχητικές » διώξεις δημάρχων της αντιπολίτευσης.

      ​​​​​​Από την πλευρά του, ο κ. Τσαβούσογλου χαρακτήρισε κι αυτός το περασμένο έτος « προβληματικό » για τις σχέσεις Ε.Ε. – Τουρκίας. Χαιρέτισε τις αμοιβαίες κινήσεις βελτίωσης της ατμόσφαιρας που έχουν γίνει έκτοτε και είπε ότι μαζί με τον κ. Μπορέλ θα « εργαστούν για να προετοιμάσουν » την επίσκεψη στην Αγκυρα της Ούρσουλα φον ντερ Λάιεν και του προέδρου του Ευρωπαϊκού Συμβουλίου Σαρλ Μισέλ. Υπενθυμίζεται, πάντως, ότι η επίσκεψη αυτή δεν έχει επιβεβαιωθεί ακόμα από ευρωπαϊκής πλευράς.

      https://www.stonisi.gr/post/14486/nai-stis-epistrofes-metanastwn-leei-h-toyrkia

    • Le Ministre grec de la politique migratoire demande la #révision de l’accord UE-Turquie, afin que les retours puissent être également effectués depuis la #frontière_terrestre

      Traduction du grec reçue via la mailing-list Migreup :

      "Il est clair qu’aucune nouvelle structure ne sera créée en #Thrace", a déclaré M. Mitarakis.

      La nécessité de réviser la déclaration commune UE-Turquie, de manière à inclure les frontières terrestres, mais si et seulement si elle est accompagnée par la levée de restriction géographique pour ceux qui arrivent aux îles, a été mise en avant lors d’une conférence de presse d’Alexandroupolis par le ministre de l’Immigration et de l’Asile Notis Mitarakis.

      Évoquant les points qui doivent être modifiés dans l’accord, M. Mitarakis a déclaré que << le premier est la question de la levée de la restriction géographique imposée par l’accord qui a créé une énorme pression sur les îles de la mer Égée, car elle associait a possibilité d’un renvoi à Turquie de ceux qui n’ont pas droit à une protection internationale à leur confinement géographique aux îles jusqu’à la fin de la procédure d’asile.

      Le ministre a souligné que si la clause de la restriction géographique est levée, nous devrions reconsidérer l’accord européen afin que les retours puissent être effectués depuis les frontières terrestres [et non pas uniquement par voie maritime], "à condition de ne pas rendre obligatoire le séjour des demandeurs d’asile qui arrivent par voie terrestre à la région Evros », dit-il.

      Après les réactions extrêmes de certains habitants d’Orestiada avant-hier, Notis Mitarakis a souligné que "la politique nationale pour Thrace et Evros ne change pas, il est clair qu’aucune nouvelle structure ne sera créée en Thrace, et qu’il n’y aura pas de séjour d’immigrants en Thrace. Le caractère du #hotspot #Fylakio ne change pas non plus, tous les demandeurs vont être transférés après les contrôles nécessaires vers les structures existantes de régions non-frontalières ».

      Enfin, le ministre a essentiellement annoncé la décision prise de déplacer le bureau régional d’asile d’#Alexandroupoli à #Kavala, arguant que la présence d’immigrants à Alexandroupoli pour traiter leurs dossiers est contraire à la politique qui stipule que les migrants ne doivent pas s’installer à la région frontalière d’#Evros.

      source en grec :
      https://www.efsyn.gr/ellada/koinonia/280765_mitarakis-epanexetasi-tis-symfonias-gia-na-mporoyn-na-ginontai-epistrof

      #transferts

  • Is Frontex involved in illegal ’pushbacks’ in the Balkans ?

    Refugees and migrants in Greece trying to reach western Europe have accused EU border protection agency Frontex of taking part in illegal deportations known as “pushbacks.” DW reports.

    Ali al-Ebrahim fled in 2018 from Manbij, a Syrian city that was under Kurdish control, to escape being forced to fight in the conflict.

    Al-Ebrahim, now 22, first tried his luck in Turkey. When he arrived in Antakya, not far from the Syrian border, Turkish authorities took his details and sent him back home without citing any reasons, the young Syrian man says in very good English. He explains that this meant he was banned from legally entering Turkey again for five years.

    Nevertheless, al-Ebrahim decided to try again, this time with the aim of reaching Greece. He managed to make his way to Turkey’s Aegean coastline and eventually reached the Greek island of Leros in a rubber dinghy. When he applied for asylum, however, his application was rejected on the grounds that Turkey was a safe third country.

    But al-Ebrahim was not able to return to Turkey, and certainly not Syria — though this was of no interest to Greek authorities. “The new Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is very strict when it comes to migrants,” he says. “So I decided to go to Albania.”
    Uniforms with the EU flag

    Al-Ebrahim says that in September 2020, he traveled by bus with five others to the northern Greek city of Ioannina, and then walked to the Albanian border without encountering any Greek police.

    But, he says, staff from the EU border protection agency Frontex stopped them in Albania and handed them over to Albanian authorities in the border town of Kakavia. When asked how he knew they were Frontex officials, al-Ebrahim replies, “I could tell from their armbands.”

    Frontex staff wear light-blue armbands with the EU flag on them.
    €5,000 to reach Austria

    Al-Ebrahim says that he and the other migrants asked the Albanian authorities for asylum but were told that the coronavirus pandemic made it impossible to file any new asylum applications. They were then just sent back to Greece without the Greek authorities being notified, he says.

    Al-Ebrahim had more luck on the second attempt. He managed to travel to the Albanian capital, Tirana, and then on to Serbia via Kosovo.

    His interview with DW takes place at a refugee camp in the Serbian city of Sombor, near the Hungarian border. Al-Ebrahim says he wants to travel on through Hungary into Austria, but the traffickers charge €5,000 to get as far as the Austrian border.

    Detention instead of asylum

    Hope Barker has heard many similar stories before. She coordinates the project “Wave - Thessaloniki,” which provides migrants traveling the Balkan route with food, medical care and legal advice. Barker tells DW that the northern Greek city was a safe haven until the new conservative government took office in summer 2019.

    In January 2020, a draconian new law came into effect in Greece. According to Barker, it allows authorities to detain asylum seekers for up to 18 months without reviewing their cases — and detention can then be extended for another 18 months.

    “So you can be held in detention for three years without any action on your case if you ask for asylum,” says Baker.

    Pushbacks by Frontex?

    Baker tells DW that the illegal deportation of migrants, known as “pushbacks,” happen both at the borders and further inland. Migrants trying to reach western Europe avoid any contact with Greek authorities.

    Refugee aid organizations say there have been “lots of pushbacks” at the border with North Macedonia and Albania. Baker says that witnesses have reported hearing those involved speaking German, for example, and seeing the EU insignia on their blue armbands.

    Frontex rejects allegations

    Baker says that it is, nonetheless, difficult to prove pushbacks at the Greek border because of the confusing situation, but she adds that they know that Frontex is active in Albania and that there are pushbacks on a daily basis across the River Evros that flows through Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey and forms a large part of the border. “We know that pushbacks are happening daily. So, to think that they don’t know or are not at all involved in those practices seems beyond belief,” says Baker.

    A Frontex spokesman told DW that the agency had investigated some of the allegations and “found no credible evidence to support any of them.”

    Frontex added that its staff was bound by a code of conduct, which explicitly calls for the “prevention of refoulement and the upholding of human rights, all in line with the European Charter of Fundamental Rights.”

    “We are fully committed to protecting fundamental rights,” it added.

    Border protection from beyond the EU

    So why does the European border protection agency protect an external border of the European Union from the Albanian side? “The main aim of the operation is to support border control, help tackle irregular migration, as well as cross-border crime, including migrant smuggling, trafficking in human beings and terrorism, and identify possible risks and threats related to security,” said Frontex to DW.

    Frontex also said that cooperation with countries in the western Balkans was one of its priorities. “The agency supports them in complying with EU standards and best practices in border management and security,” the spokesman said.

    Yet it is worthwhile taking a look at another part of Greece’s border. While military and police officers are omnipresent at the Greek-Turkish border and are supported by Frontex staff, you seldom encounter any uniforms in the mountains between Greece and Albania. As a result, this route is regarded as safe by refugees and migrants who want to travel onward to western Europe via Greece.

    The route west

    Many migrants travel from Thessaloniki to the picturesque town of Kastoria, about 30 kilometers outside Albania. “There, the police pick us up from the bus and take us to the Albanian border,” Zakarias tells DW at the Wave Center in Thessaloniki. He is Moroccan and arrived in Greece via Turkey.

    But at this point, these are just rumors.

    That afternoon the men get on the bus. Another Moroccan man, 46-year-old Saleh Rosa, is among them. He has been in Greece for a year and was homeless for a long time in Thessaloniki. “Greece is a good country, but I cannot live here,” Rosa tells DW. He aims to reach western Europe via Albania, Kosovo, Serbia and then Hungary.

    Ominous police checks

    Police stop the bus shortly before its arrival in Kastoria. There is a parked police car with uniformed officers. Two men in plain clothes board the bus, claiming to be police. Without showing any ID, they target the foreigners, detaining Saleh, Zakarias and their companions.

    At around 11pm that same evening, the migrants send a WhatsApp message and their Google coordinates. They say that the men in plainclothes have taken them to a place some 15 kilometers from the Albanian border, but within Greece. Later in the Albanian capital, Tirana, DW met with Rosa again, who stresses that his papers were not checked in Greece.

    Conflicting accounts

    When asked by DW, Greek police authorities confirmed the existence of the plain-clothed officers and the roadside check. But then their account diverges from that of the two men. Police said they wanted to check if the migrants were legally permitted to be in Greece and they were released once this was confirmed.

    But the migrants say that Saleh Rosa was the only one with the papers to stay in Greece legally and that the other men were unregistered. Moreover, there is a curfew in Greece because of COVID-19. You are only allowed to travel from one district to another in exceptional cases. Even if they had been carrying papers, the men should have been fined.

    The police refused to comment on that.

    https://www.dw.com/en/is-frontex-involved-in-illegal-pushbacks-in-the-balkans/a-56141370

    #Frontex #Balkans #route_des_balkans #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #push-backs #refoulements #Albanie #Serbie #Kosovo #Sombor #Hongrie #Macédoine_du_Nord #Evros #Grèce

    –---

    voir aussi les accusations envers Frontex de refoulement en #Mer_Egée :
    Migrations : l’agence européenne #Frontex mise en cause pour des #refoulements en mer
    https://seenthis.net/messages/882952

    • Frontex confronted with allegations of violence in North Macedonia

      Allegations that officials deployed on Frontex operations have participated in or condoned violence against people on the move in North Macedonia must be investigated, says a letter (https://www.statewatch.org/media/2494/letter-to-frontex-sw-and-bvmn.pdf) sent to Frontex today by #Statewatch and #Border_Violence_Monitoring_Network (#BVMN).

      Allegations that officials deployed on Frontex operations have participated in or condoned violence against people on the move in North Macedonia must be investigated, says a letter sent to Frontex today by Statewatch and Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN).

      Since September 2019, volunteers for BVMN have gathered five separate testimonies from people pushed back from North Macedonia to Greece alleging the presence of Frontex officers on North Macedonian territory, where the agency has no legal authority to act. The reports involve a total of 130 people.

      The testimonies include allegations that officers deployed by Frontex engaged in or condoned brutal violence – including the use of tasers and electroshock batons, throwing people into rivers, and tying people up and beating them.

      Frontex says it has no records of any such incidents. The agency’s press office said to Statewatch last month that “Frontex does not have any operational activities at the land border from the North Macedonian side,” and “is only present on the Greek side of the border.”

      The letter, addressed to Frontex’s executive director, the new Fundamental Rights Officer, and the agency’s Consultative Forum on Fundamental Rights, calls for a thorough investigation into the allegations to clarify the facts and ensure appropriate action against any individuals found to have engaged in, condoned or consented to violence and/or to have acted on North Macedonian territory.

      The violence allegedly meted out or condoned by Frontex officials is part of a broader wave of violence against people on the move through North Macedonia. Since February 2019, BVMN volunteers have gathered 37 reports of pushbacks from North Macedonia to Greece, which are likely only a fraction of the total number of pushback cases.

      The five reports alleging the presence of Frontex officials are a subset of 15 testimonies that cite the involvement of foreign officials working alongside North Macedonian officers.

      An analysis published today by Statewatch (https://www.statewatch.org/analyses/2021/foreign-agents-and-violence-against-migrants-at-the-greek-macedonian-bor) looks at the deployment of foreign border guards to North Macedonia, which since 2015 has played a key role in the EU’s efforts to prevent migrants and refugees departing from Greece to reach ‘core’ EU territory further north.

      A number of states (members of the EU and other states in the region) have signed bilateral deals with the North Macedonian government that allow the deployment of border guards in the country.

      Frontex, meanwhile, is not yet legally able to operate there. An agreement between the EU and North Macedonia is in the works, but is being held up in a dispute over language (https://www.statewatch.org/analyses/2021/briefing-external-action-frontex-operations-outside-the-eu).

      The agency must provide answers and an investigation into the numerous allegations of its officials being involved in abuse.

      https://www.statewatch.org/news/2021/june/frontex-confronted-with-allegations-of-violence-in-north-macedonia
      #Macédoine_du_Nord

    • Briefing: External action: Frontex operations outside the EU

      The EU has negotiated five agreements with states in the Balkans that allow Frontex operations on their territories, and most of the agreements have now been approved by both sides. This briefing looks at the main provisions of those agreements, highlights key differences and similarities, and argues that they will likely serve as a template for future deals with states that do not border the EU, as made possible by the 2019 Regulation governing Frontex.

      For an overview of the key points of the agreements, see the table at the end of this article, or here as a PDF (https://www.statewatch.org/media/2011/eu-frontex-external-action-briefing-table.pdf).

      Frontex launched its first official joint operation on non-EU territory at Albania’s border with Greece in May 2019. Still ongoing today, this was the first operation resulting from a series of Status Agreements between the EU and a number of Western Balkan states – Albania, Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and North Macedonia.

      These agreements make it possible for Frontex to undertake operations on those other states’ territories. Signed in accordance with the agency’s 2016 Regulation, all five agreements allow the agency to carry out joint operations and rapid border interventions on the states’ borders, where those borders are coterminous with those of an EU member state or states. Frontex can also assist those states with deportation operations from EU member states to those countries. Since the entry into force of Frontex’s 2019 mandate, the EU can now also make such agreements with states that do not border EU territory.

      The contents of the status agreements, all based on a template document produced by the Commission, are very similar, with small but important differences emerging from the negotiation procedures with each state, explored below.

      The first agreements in context

      The five Balkan states targeted for the first agreements make up what is seen by officials as a “buffer zone” between Greece and other Schengen states, and they have long been embroiled in the bloc’s border policies. Through long negotiations over accession to the Union (https://www.statewatch.org/analyses/2020/albania-dealing-with-a-new-migration-framework-on-the-edge-of-the-empire), Western Balkan states are at various stages of approximating domestic law with the EU’s legal ‘acquis’, involving substantial amendments to migration and asylum systems.

      In theory, these systems must match up to EU legal and fundamental rights standards in order to allow accession, though violence against migrants is well documented on both sides of these “coterminous borders”. The so-called Balkan Route is the site of well-documented abuses (https://www.statewatch.org/news/2021/january/eu-the-black-book-of-pushbacks-testimonies-of-pushbacks-affecting-over-1) suffered by people on the move, recently compiled and published in a ‘Black Book of pushbacks’ which detail violence perpetrated by border agents, member state police and soldiers. Pushbacks from Croatia (https://www.statewatch.org/news/2020/november/european-commission-plans-to-visit-croatia-in-light-of-human-rights-viol) and Hungary are particularly notorious, with Frontex finally withdrawing its support for operations in Hungary (https://www.statewatch.org/statewatch-database/frontex-suspends-operations-in-hungary) in January this year due to the state’s violation of a European Court of Justice ruling against pushbacks into Serbia.

      The agency had long-insisted that its presence discouraged fundamental rights violations (https://www.statewatch.org/news/2021/february/frontex-management-board-pushes-back-against-secrecy-proposals-in-prelim) - a far less credible claim in the wake of allegations (https://www.statewatch.org/news/2021/february/frontex-management-board-pushes-back-against-secrecy-proposals-in-prelim) of Frontex complicity in serious incidents in the Aegean, including possible pushbacks.

      Frontex expands external operations while future agreements remain on hold

      Following deployment of officers to Montenegro’s border with Croatia in July, Frontex launched a second operation in Montenegro in October. The third executive operation outside the EU (and the second in Montenegro), the aim of this activity is “to tackle cross-border crime at the country’s sea borders, including the smuggling of drugs and weapons, smuggling of migrants, trafficking in human beings and terrorism”.

      The agency says it will provide aerial surveillance, deploy officers from EU member states, and provide technical and operational assistance with coast guard functions in international waters, “including search and rescue support, fisheries control and environmental protection”.

      The agreement with Serbia was approved by the European Parliament in February this year, along with the agreement with Montenegro. Three presidential entities need to sign the agreement in order for it to be ratified by Bosnia and Herzegovina’s government; the Serb entity has so far refused to do so.

      Meanwhile, the agreement with North Macedonia was due to be tabled in the European Parliament this autumn, but negotiations have been held up, in part by Bulgaria’s objection to the language in which it is written. According to the site European Western Balkans, “Bulgaria does not recognise the language of North Macedonia as ‘Macedonian’”, but “as a dialect of Bulgarian”. It will apparently take “a change in terminology regarding Macedonian language in order to allow progress in drafting a final negotiating framework”. While negotiations are stalled, the agreement cannot be considered by the European Parliament.

      Once the status agreements are in force, Frontex operations are launched in accordance with an operational plan agreed with each state. These plans include the circumstances under which Frontex staff can use executive powers and other details of the operations not available elsewhere. These plans are not systematically made public and although it is possible for the public to request their release, Frontex can refuse access to them. These non-public documents contain important provisions on fundamental rights and data protection, as well as details on the aims and objectives of the agency’s operations.

      Fundamental rights

      Under article 8 of the agreements with Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina (article 9 of the other agreements) all parties are obliged to:

      “[H]ave a complaint mechanism to deal with allegations of a breach of fundamental rights committed by its staff in the exercise of their official functions in the course of a joint operation, rapid border intervention or return operation performed under this agreement”.

      Both Frontex and the host state must operate such a complaints mechanism, to handle allegations against their own team members. Frontex’s complaint mechanism is currently the subject of an Ombudsman inquiry, following years of research showing it up as inaccessible and ineffective. Details of updates bringing the mechanism into line with Frontex’s 2019 Regulation have not yet been made public, although the rules set out in that Regulation have problems of their own. It is noteworthy that the agreements do not explicitly require an independent complaints mechanism.

      On the question of parallel complaints mechanisms for Frontex officers and host country officers, a Frontex spokesperson explained:

      “The complaints team within Frontex Fundamental Rights Office has been working since 2019 on the concept of how to deal with complaints concerning Frontex activities in [Albania]. For that purpose, the FRO team met with competent national authorities in Albania in October 2019. Both parties agreed on the draft of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the purpose of which is a coordination between both complaints mechanisms. The MoU draft proposal was shared with Albanian authorities for their consideration on September 2020 and finalization of the modalities.

      The draft of this MoU will serve as basis for other third countries arrangements on the coexistence of complaints mechanisms, such as the case for Montenegro.”

      An extra article 3

      The agreements with Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia contain an article not included in the agreements with Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina. From article 3, on launching an action:

      “The Agency may propose launching an action to the competent authorities of [the host state].

      The competent authorities of [the host state] may also request the Agency to consider launching an action.”

      The launching of any action requires the consent of competent authorities of the host-state and of Frontex (Article 3(2) of the status agreements), while any disputes over the content of the status agreements shall be resolved between the non-EU state in question and the European Commission (Article 11).

      Privileges and immunities of the members of the team

      Members of teams deployed in each of the host states shall enjoy immunity from the criminal, civil and administrative jurisdiction of the host state, for all acts carried out in the exercise of official functions, where these are committed in the course of actions contained in the operational plan (articles 6 or 7). It is at the discretion of the executive director of Frontex (currently Fabrice Leggeri) to determine whether acts were committed in the course of actions following the operational plan. This immunity may be waived by the team members’ home state – that is to say, the state of nationality of a Frontex team member, such as Spain or Germany.

      While the agreements with Albania, Montenegro, and North Macedonia include the provision that the executive director’s decision will be binding upon the authorities of the host state, no such article is found in the agreements with Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia.

      A further difficulty with this article was highlighted earlier this year in an internal Frontex report: Protocol No 7 annexed to the Treaty of the European Union (TEU) and to the TFEU, under which the privileges and immunities Agency and its statutory staff are covered, is not applicable outside of the EU. The Commission has not yet responded to a request for comment on an investigation said to be underway into this issue.

      Acting on behalf of the host non-EU state

      Across the status agreements, members of the teams are limited to performing tasks and exercising powers in the host territory in the presence and under instructions of the host state’s border guards or other relevant authorities. The host state may authorise members of teams to act on its behalf, taking into consideration the views of the agency via its coordinating officer. The agreement with Serbia contains extra emphasis (article 5):

      “the competent authority of the Republic of Serbia may authorise members of the teams to act on its behalf as long as the overall responsibility and command and control functions remain with the border guards or other police officers of the Republic of Serbia present at all times.”

      This agreement also emphasises that “the members of the team referred to in paragraphs 1 and 3 to 6 do not include agency staff”.

      Members of teams shall be authorised to use force, including service weapons as permitted by the host state, home state, and Frontex. Each host state may authorise members of the team to use force in the absence of border guards or other relevant staff under article 4 (6) – Albania and Bosnia and Herzegoviina – or 5 (6) – Montenegro,

      Access to databases

      The agreements with Albania and Montenegro allow the host state to authorise members of the team to consult national databases if necessary for the operational aims or for return operations. Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina’s status agreements are more cautious, allowing certain data from national databases to be shared at the request of a member of the team, provided it is needed to fulfil operational aims as outlined in the operational plan. The agreement with Serbia contains, once more, additional provisions: “members of the team may be communicated only information concerning relevant facts which is necessary for performing their tasks and exercising their powers”, though it also includes in the subsequent paragraph:

      “For the purposes of fulfilling operational aims specified in the operation plan and the implementing actions, the competent authority of the Republic of Serbia and members of the team may exchange other information and findings”.

      Language on discrimination

      The agreement with Serbia once again follows slightly different wording to the others in terms of the prohibition of discrimination. The agreements with Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and North Macedonia recite:

      “While performing their tasks and exercising their powers, they shall not arbitrarily discriminate against persons on any grounds including sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age, sexual orientation or gender identity.”

      However, the agreement with Serbia does not include (https://www.statewatch.org/news/2017/july/eu-frontex-in-the-balkans-serbian-government-rejects-eu-s-criminal-immun) any reference to gender identity.

      Obligation to give evidence as witnesses in criminal proceedings

      Under each of the agreements with Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia and Serbia, members of the team shall not be obliged to give evidence as witnesses. Not only does the agreement with Montenegro omit this provision, it also outlines:

      “Members of the team who are witnesses may be obliged by the competent authorities of Montenegro, while respecting paragraphs 3 and 4, to provide evidence through a statement and in accordance with the procedural law of Montenegro.”

      Frontex and home state obligation not to jeopardise criminal proceedings

      The agreement with Serbia is the only agreement not to include an obligation on the agency and home state of a team member to “refrain from taking any measure likely to jeopardise possible subsequent criminal prosecution of the member of the team by the competent authorities” of the host non-EU state.

      Lingering uncertainty

      On top of uncertainty over when the agreements with North Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina might be completed, questions remain regarding the accessibility of complaints mechanisms and the application of rules governing privileges and immunity of team members, even in Albania and Montenegro, where operations have been launched already.

      Additionally, since the entry into force of its new regulation in 2019 and the removal of provisions limiting Frontex’s extra-EU operations only to neighbouring states, the EU can now conclude status agreements with countries not bordering the EU. The implementation of these agreements, as well as their contents, will likely set a precedent for negotiations and operations further afield.

      https://www.statewatch.org/analyses/2021/briefing-external-action-frontex-operations-outside-the-eu
      #Albanie #Monténégro #Serbie #Bosnie #Bosnie-Herzégovine #buffer-zone #zone-tampon

    • Albania: dealing with a new migration framework on the edge of the empire

      In 2014, Albania was formally accepted as a candidate for membership to the EU. The country is aiming to approximate its domestic law with the EU legal ’acquis’ within the next two years, prompting big changes in the country’s immigration and asylum system - at least on paper. Currently, those systems cannot be said to meet fundamental rights or EU legal standards, but given conditions within the EU itself - notably in Greece - it remains to be seen whether this will be a barrier to Albania joining the bloc.

      Background

      In the 1990s Albania, a small country in the middle of the Balkans, was just emerging from a harsh communist dictatorship. In 1991, a new era in Europe began for the country, as it opened diplomatic relationships with the then-European Community. But it was not until 2014 that Albania was formally accepted as a candidate for membership of the EU, following the endorsement of the European Council.[1]

      In that time, the European Community had evolved into the fortress of the European Union, its borders and expansion reminiscent of the spread of the Roman Empire. Speaking of the EU’s borders, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has even commented, “big empires go down if the external borders are not well-protected”.[2] Since 2014, Albania has been racing to fulfil all the requirements needed to be accepted among the fabulous 27, making major changes in the five main areas identified by the EU: public administration, rule of law, tackling corruption, organised crime and fundamental rights.

      In February 2018, the European Commission declared that further enlargement to encompass the states of the ‘Western Balkans’ (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo) would be “an investment in the EU’s security, economic growth and influence and in its ability to protect its citizens”.[3] In short, the EU was presenting a so-called win-win agreement, where all sides stand to gain.

      In March 2020 – following a limping reform of the justice system, some destabilizing stop-and-go of talks between the EU and Albania, a gloomy summer election crisis in 2019, German concerns, a temporary French veto and a devastating earthquake in November 2019 – the EU finally said ‘I do’ and committed to opening accession negotiations with Albania, in a statement that underscored the need to ‘keep an eye’ on the country:

      “The Council further invites the Commission to continue to monitor the progress and compliance in all areas related to the opening of negotiations and to carry out and complete the process of analytical examination of the EU acquis with the country, starting with the fundamentals’ cluster”.[4]

      Aligning Albania with the EU’s “area of freedom, security and justice”

      The current ‘Project Plan for European integration 2020-2022’[5] lists all the legislative reforms and changes required to align Albanian and EU law. The full approximation of Albanian law with that of the European Union, and its full and effective implementation, is one of the criteria for membership. Indeed, the process of membership negotiations is in itself that process of approximation.

      The process involves the following steps: analysis of EU legislation; identification of deficiencies or contradictory acts of Albanian law; drafting or reviewing of the approximated Albanian acts; and monitoring the implementation of approximated legislation. The 24th chapter of the plan, on “justice, freedom and security”, focuses on: border control; visas; external migration; asylum; police cooperation; the fight against organised crime and terrorism; cooperation on drugs issues; customs; and judicial cooperation in criminal and civil matters.

      Following the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the area of Freedom, Security and Justice is regulated in Title V of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, running from Article 67 to Article 89.[6] This covers secondary legislation on: border checks, asylum and immigration; police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters; judicial cooperation in civil matters; and police cooperation. Primary and secondary legislation is complemented by a large body of jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the EU, whose primacy is a cornerstone principle of EU law. The acquis inherited by Albania for this specific chapter consists of a volume of 392 acts, divided into a “hard acquis” (which derives from binding acts such as treaties, directives, regulations, etc.) and a “soft acquis” (which derives from standards, principles and recommendations of EU or other relevant international organizations).

      Updating the laws on immigration and borders

      The government affirms to have completed and adopted a comprehensive national cross-sectoral migration strategy, included a new strategy on the diaspora for the period 2018-2024.[7] The government also says it has updated a contingency plan for a possible massive influx of migrants and asylum seekers, expected to be approved soon. But the other side of the coin is that Albania, as the project plan admits, is largely unprepared to host and protect migrants on its territory. Albania currently has one reception centre for irregular migrants in Karreç, with a capacity of only 150 beds. The centre was visited in September 2019 by the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which found it to be inadequate in many respects.[8] Even more concerning is the lack of facilities for unaccompanied minors.

      According to a footnote in a 2016 law,[9] Albania’s border control legislation has been aligned with the Schengen Borders Code.[10] However, it appears that the wider legal framework for managing Albania’s external borders is not yet fully in line with EU standards. The government reports that the implementation of the integrated border management strategy and action plan is proceeding: the reconstruction of the two border crossing points Hani i Hotit and Morina has been completed; the country has signed a protocol with Montenegro on the establishment of joint checkpoints; the trilateral centre in Plav (in Northern Macedonia) has become operational; an agreement with Kosovo on the joint border crossing point in Morina has been concluded; anti-corruption preventive measures have been implemented at border crossing points through the installation of cameras; and cooperation between agencies and neighbouring countries has improved.

      Frontex: already on the scene

      The section of the government’s report on regular and irregular immigration states that the agreement with the EU permitting the deployment of Frontex officials on Albanian territory was finalised in February 2019.[11] The deployment began on 22 May 2019, for an indefinite period.[12]

      The joint operation – Frontex’s first outside the EU – deploys 50 EU officers in Albania to “help Albanian authorities with border surveillance and border checks… They will also assist their Albanian counterparts in screening of migrants”.[13] This is not the first time that an EU presence has been active on Albanian territory – an Italian operation in 1997 sought to prevent migration, and there have also been monitoring missions. However, the Frontex presence is an executive mission, marking a more active departure from the monitoring exercises of the past.[14]

      The Albanian Minister of Internal Affairs, Sander Lleshaj, has described the operation as “really effective, very collaborative… crucial in the way to EU integration”.[15] The Prime Minister, Edi Rama, has said the operation makes Albania a contributor to the EU in countering illegal migration and organised crime.[16] The Albanian press has so far expressed an uncritical view of the Frontex mission. In a state where many are supportive of EU accession, appetite for critical investigation is possibly low.

      And asylum?

      Albania reports that its Asylum Law is partially in line with the EU acquis. The country has the necessary institutions and procedures to handle asylum applications. Complaints can be filed with the National Commission for Refugees and Asylum, which was established in 2017 and reopened in 2019. All relevant national legislation should be publicly available on the government website,[17] but the information available does not clarify if complaints related to the application process are admissible, or if the word “complaints” refers to appeals related to unsuccessful applications. Regarding the asylum procedure, applications are registered by the Border and Migration Police by filling out the pre-screening forms, then reported to the Directorate of Asylum and Citizenship to proceed with the status determination procedures.

      Although the number of asylum seekers increased significantly in 2018, with 5,730 arrivals, the authorities say they have responded to the large number of asylum applications. According to UNHCR asylum applications that year increased to 4,378, a 14-fold increase compared to 2017.[18] Albania’s official Gazette outlined in March 2020 that the number of people applying for asylum was at its highest in 2018, and 40 times higher than it had been in 2015.[19] According to the Project Plan for European integration, an asylum database has been functioning since April 2019; it serves as an integral data centre between the Directorate of Asylum and Citizenship, the Directorate of Border and Migration and the National Reception Centre for Asylum Seekers, exchanging information in real time between these institutions and enabling the completion of procedures as well as the issuance of statistics.

      The government also says it tripled its reception capacity for asylum seekers in October 2017. Total reception capacity, including the national reception centre in Tirana and the temporary accommodation centres in Gjirokastra and Korça, reaches almost 380 places. In October 2019, a new centre with a reception capacity of 60 beds was inaugurated to cope with the expected increase of people needing temporary housing in Kapshticë/Korça,[20] which has the same parameters as the transit centre in Gërhot of Gjirokastra.

      Summary

      Both Albania and the EU have undergone a transformative thirty years, with talks of accession beginning six years ago. The EU sees Albania’s incorporation into the bloc as a way of contributing to the economic growth and strengthened security; a different understanding of “expanding the fortress”. Accession negotiations were reinvigorated in March 2020, and the current goal is for Albania to approximate its law to the EU acquis, and implement those measures, within two years. This includes legislation on immigration and borders, which have been updated on paper. Though conditions for asylum seekers and migrants in Albania are not in line with fundamental rights law or the EU acquis, nor are those in EU member states – most notably the Greek island hotspots. The deployment of the EU’s border agency in Albania, unlikely to be criticised locally, represents further step in the EU’s mission to control migration across a wider terrain.

      Sara Ianovitz, Ph.D. in International Law

      https://www.statewatch.org/analyses/2020/albania-dealing-with-a-new-migration-framework-on-the-edge-of-the-empire

      #Albanie

    • Foreign agents and violence against migrants at the Greek-Macedonian border

      An increasing number of reports of violent pushbacks at the Greek-Macedonian border have been collected by volunteers in recent years. Some reports allege the presence of Frontex, but bilateral policing deals in place may also explain the presence of foreign officers in Macedonia. The violence underpins a long-standing plan to close the ‘Balkan Route’ and keep people out of ‘core’ EU territory. Whoever is behind the violence, there is no shortage of border guards to mete it out – but justice is in short supply.

      Midnight in Macedonia

      Around midnight on 14 August last year, a group of some 20 people were intercepted by border police just north of the Greek-Macedonian border, near the small town of Gevgelija. What happened next, according to the testimony of one member of the group, makes for grim reading.

      “[T]he police officers approached the group and became physically violent. The officers struck various group-members with their batons. Others were pepper-sprayed, including the women and children. After this, the officers loaded the group into a van and left them there without any air conditioning, jammed, soaking in sweat for around two hours, while going about to catch more transit groups. In the end, they squashed around 40 people in a van for fit for ten persons.”[1]

      Macedonian officials were not the only ones involved in the operation. The testimony also recounts “foreign officers wearing uniforms with the European Union flags on their shoulders,” the distinctive mark of EU border agency Frontex.

      Foreign agents

      The testimony is one of five reports gathered by Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN), altogether involving some 130 people, that describe violence being meted out in the presence of, or even by, border guards allegedly deployed by Frontex on North Macedonian territory. A further 10 reports gathered by the network, encompassing some 123 people, recount the use of violence by foreign border guards and police officers operating in North Macedonia, but do not mention uniforms bearing the EU flag.[2]

      Statewatch and Border Violence Monitoring Network have written to Frontex to demand an investigation into the allegations recounted in this article. Read more here.

      The violence recounted in those testimonies is shocking. According to the report on the 14 August incident, after cramming people into the van, the police drove them to the banks of the Vardar river. There, they threw peoples’ possessions into the water, took their phones and money, and “the group was beaten brutally with metal electroshock batons and some people were thrown into the river by the police. One person was thrown in despite crying and begging not to be thrown in.” They were subsequently taken back to the border and pushed through a gate leading to the Greek side, while police beat them with electroshock batons.

      In that incident, the witness said that officials with uniforms bearing EU flags were present, but did not directly participate in the violence. But a report from the same area, concerning an incident less than a week later, refers to officials in uniforms bearing Croatian, Slovenian, Czech and EU flags, who bound a group of four men with zip ties and beat three of them with batons (one of the group, who was a minor, was spared the beating).[3] Reports of other incidents allege the presence of Italian, German and Austrian officials.

      No reports at Frontex

      While BVMN volunteers have gathered multiple testimonies that allege Frontex’s presence or involvement in violence in North Macedonia, the agency itself says it has received no reports of any such incidents. The agency also denies any presence in the country – in May, a press officer told Statewatch that “Frontex does not have any operational activities at the land border from the North Macedonian side,” and “is only present on the Greek side of the border.”

      In December 2020, Frontex responded to an access to documents request filed by Statewatch some months earlier. The request sought copies of all serious incident reports (SIRs) concerning the agency’s activities at the Greek-Macedonian land border from 1 January 2020 onwards. SIRs are supposed to be filed by officials deployed on Frontex operations for a variety of reasons, including in case of “suspected violations of fundamental rights or international protection obligations.”[4]

      In its response, the agency said that it did not hold any SIRs concerning the geographic area and time period covered by the request. This does not mean, however, that the incidents recorded by BVMN did not take place – it may simply be that nobody is reporting them.

      A working group set up by Frontex’s own Management Board, in response to allegations of involvement in pushbacks in Greece, found numerous problems with the agency’s reporting system. It noted that there was no way of monitoring the quality of reports submitted, and there were no confidential avenues for team members to report rights violations by their colleagues.

      The report also called for “a newly introduced culture,” suggesting that the existing ambience at the agency is not one in which the rights of migrants and refugees are at the forefront of officials’ minds. The working group said that the agency needed “awareness of and sensitiveness towards possible misconduct,”[5] a call it repeated in its final report.[6]

      Not even numbers

      Serious incident reports may not exist, but the request from Statewatch to Frontex also sought to establish the scale of the agency’s activities at the Greek-Macedonian border through another means – by requesting data on the number of migrants and migrant smugglers apprehended at the Greek-Macedonian border over the same period (1 January 2020 onwards).

      This data, argued Frontex, could not be released – doing so “would jeopardize the work of law enforcement officials and pose a hazard to the course of ongoing and future operations aimed at curtailing the activities of such networks,” despite the request seeking nothing more than figures that Frontex itself has published in previous reports.

      A public evaluation of the tongue-twistingly titled ‘Joint Operation Flexible Operational Activities 2018 Land on Border Surveillance’ (JO FOA Land) says that in 2018, 16,337 migrants and 313 smugglers were apprehended in the area covered by the operation – “the ‘green borders’ of Greece with Turkey, the North Macedonia [sic] and Albania, Bulgaria with Turkey, North Macedonia and Serbia.”[7] Yet for reasons known only to Frontex, providing a breakdown of these figures for the Greek-Macedonian border would apparently undermine public security.

      A significant presence

      According to Frontex’s evaluation report, 25 member states took part in operations at land borders in south-eastern Europe in 2018, along with 47 officers acting as observers from six different “third countries”, namely Georgia, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Moldova, Serbia and Ukraine. Over 1,800 officials were deployed by Frontex over the course of the year. The operations recorded 2,011 “incidents”.

      A substantial Frontex presence at the border between Greece and North Macedonia has been in place since then. In a response to a parliamentary question from German MEP Özlem Demirel, the European Commission said last June that at Greece’s land borders with Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Turkey, 71 officials, 24 patrols and three “thermo-vision vans” were deployed as part of the 2020 edition of JO FOA Land. Thirteen different member states were providing contributions to the operation: Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Spain.[8]

      While Frontex denies any physical presence on North Macedonia territory, the testimonies gathered by BVMN that allege the presence or participation of Frontex officials in violent acts raise serious questions for the agency. All the testimonies concern incidents that took place in North Macedonia, where the agency has no legal basis to operate. An agreement between the EU and North Macedonia that would permit Frontex deployments, similar to those currently in place with Montenegro and Albania, is facing hold-ups due to objections from the Bulgarian authorities.[9]

      Bilateral agreements

      Frontex operations are not the only deployments of foreign officials in North Macedonia. As noted above, nine of the 15 reports gathered by BVMN describing the involvement of non-Macedonian officers in pushbacks to Greece make no mention of Frontex at all. There are, however, multiple references to violence being meted out by officials in uniforms bearing the flags of Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany and Serbia.

      The presence of some of these officials in the country is made possible by bilateral border control agreements. North Macedonia has cooperation agreements with eight other states in the region (Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Serbia), who provide the Macedonian authorities “with assistance from foreign police officers in patrolling the south border with Greece and in performing their daily duties.”[10] The agreement with Austria, Hungary and Serbia has come in for particular criticism, as it is a memorandum of understanding rather than a formal agreement, and therefore has faced no parliamentary scrutiny in Macedonia.[11] Germany, meanwhile, does not appear to have such a formal agreement with North Macedonia at the federal level – which makes the allegations of the presence of German officers puzzling – but the EU’s largest state has provided a ready supply of equipment, including vehicles, mobile thermal imaging cameras, boots and torches.[12]

      The Croatian and Czech governments have made extensive deployments under these agreements. Between December 2015 (when Croatia and North Macedonia signed a police cooperation deal) and February 2019 “over 560 Croatian police… intercepted almost 6,000 illegal migrants in North Macedonia.”[13] The Czech deployments have been even larger – by December 2019, “1,147 police officers [had] been sent to North Macedonia” to police the border with Greece, according to the Czech government.[14]

      High-level police coordination preceded the signing of many of these agreements. In July 2016, the police chiefs of 12 states said that “the deployment of foreign police officers along borders which are strongly affected by irregular migration conveys a strong message that the countries concerned are resolute in jointly coping with the migration crisis.”[15] Under the agreements with Macedonia, foreign officials can “use technical equipment and vehicles with symbols, wear uniforms, carry weapons and other means of coercion”.[16] In some instances, it seems coercion tips over into outright violence.

      An incident dating from 16 August 2020, recorded by BVMN volunteers, refers to officers “with black ski masks over their faces” and “Croatian and Czech flags emblazoned on their uniforms.” The interviewees said that “these officers were violent with them – kicking the group, destroying their mobile phones, taking their money, insulting them, pushing their faces on the ground with tied hands behind the back. One of the respondents was also attacked by a dog, while the officers [were] laughing at him.”[17] As far back as March 2016, an activist supporting refugees at the increasingly well-guarded Greek-Macedonian border told the newspaper Lidovky that, in Macedonia, “the Czech police are known for violence and unprofessionalism.”[18]

      Buffer states in the Balkans

      Bilateral cooperation between EU states and North Macedonia extends far beyond these police cooperation agreements. In September 2020, the German Presidency of the Council of the EU described the region stretching from Turkey to Hungary (known in official jargon as the “Eastern Mediterranean/Western Balkans”) as being “of great strategic importance for the EU in terms of migration management.”[19] Significant attention is therefore being given to reinforcing the ability of states in the region to control peoples’ movements (an issue highlighted in another recent Statewatch report).

      As of May 2020, 15 EU member states were providing bilateral “support” on migration issues to states in the Western Balkans through a total of 228 activities, according to a survey carried out by the Croatian Presidency of the Council of the EU. The majority of that support was focused on control measures, “namely border management and combating the smuggling of migrants (over 50% of all MS activities),” said a summary produced by the Presidency. More than 50% of the 228 activities were taking place in Serbia and North Macedonia, both of which border EU territory.[20]

      The Croatian Presidency highlighted the “geopolitical importance” of those two countries, given that “Member States’ focus is on the prevention of irregular migratory movements to the EU.” This was “both expected and understandable, but may contribute to strengthening the Western Balkan partners’ self-perception as a transit region, which poses a challenge for the further improvement of all aspects of their migration capacities.” Rather than a transit region, the plan is to provide ‘capacity-building’ and technical assistance to develop buffer states that can keep people out of the ‘core’ of the EU after they depart from Greece.

      This is, of course, not a new plan. In February and March 2016, as the EU-Turkey deal was heading for agreement and in the wake of the arrival of hundreds of thousands of people travelling by foot, road and rail to the ‘core’ of the EU, the ‘Balkan Route’ was declared closed by EU leaders. Initially done on the crude, discriminatory basis of nationality,[21] exclusion measures were extended to apply to all those crossing borders in the region. That process of closure continues today, and violence is a longstanding component of the strategy.[22] Indeed, it is a prerequisite for it to work effectively, and has been denounced repeatedly over the years by NGOs and international organisations. In March 2016, the Macedonian authorities sought supplies of pepper spray, tasers, rubber bullets, “special bomb (shock, with rubber balls)” and “acoustic device to break the mob.”[23] The concern now may be with smaller groups of people attempting to pass through the country, rather than with “the mob”, but the violence is no less brutal.

      https://www.statewatch.org/analyses/2021/foreign-agents-and-violence-against-migrants-at-the-greek-macedonian-bor

  • Kosiah : « Mettez-moi en prison pour un millier d’années, je n’ai peur de personne »
    https://www.justiceinfo.net/fr/tribunaux/tribunaux-nationaux/46207-kosiah-mettez-moi-prison-millier-annees-peur-personne.html

    Le procès tant attendu de l’ancien chef de guerre libérien Alieu Kosiah a débuté, à Bellinzone (Sud de la Suisse) par l’interrogatoire de l’accusé. Selon le ministère public de la Confédération, où il vit depuis plus de vingt-cinq ans, l’homme aurait commis des crimes de guerre durant la première guerre civile du Liberia. Kosiah, combatif et véhément, dément tout en bloc.

    Le jeune Alieu Kosiah était mineur, selon ses dires, lors de son premier exil, en Sierra Leone, où il a rejoint le mouvement rebelle Ulimo au sein duquel il a monté les échelons de commandement. Selon l’accusation, à ce titre il a « donné l’ordre à ses troupes de commettre durant les années 1993 à 1995, dans le comté de Lofa [Nord du Liberia], notamment des meurtres de civils, un viol ainsi que des actes visant à réduire la population en (...)

    #Tribunaux_nationaux

  • Deal signed for construction of new migrant centers

    Migration Minister #Notis_Mitarakis and the director of the European Commission, #Beate_Gminder, have signed a financing agreement for the construction of new closed structures on the eastern Aegean islands of #Samos, #Kos and #Leros.

    The funding for these projects will be fully covered by the European Commission.

    Also on Friday, the working group for the coordination of the procedures for the final termination of the operations of the reception and identification centers in #Vathi on Samos and on Leros met for the first time.

    The group’s main objective is the coordination of all involved bodies (Ministry of Health, the National Public Health Organization, local authorities, the Hellenic Police, the armed forces, the fire brigade and international bodies) to ensure the smooth shutdown of the existing structures and the operation of the new closed facilities of Samos and Leros.

    https://www.ekathimerini.com/259140/article/ekathimerini/news/deal-signed-for-construction-of-new-migrant-centers

    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Grèce #centres #camps_de_réfugiés #financement #Mer_Egée #îles #centres_fermés #financement #EU #internal_externalization #externalisation_intérieure #Union_européenne #UE

    –—

    Et voilà que #Moria_2.0 se généralise à toutes les îles grecques...
    Merci le #nouveau_pacte:


    https://seenthis.net/messages/875903
    https://seenthis.net/messages/876752
    #pacte_européen

    ping @isskein @karine4

    • Accord entre l’#Union_européenne et la Grèce pour un nouveau camp d’accueil pour migrants à Lesbos en 2021

      Le camp de Moria avait été ravagé par un incendie au mois de septembre 2020. Un campement provisoire, où se trouve 7 300 demandeurs d’asile, a depuis été établi sur l’île.

      Presque trois mois après un incendie ravageur, l’Union européenne (UE) et la Grèce ont signé un accord, jeudi 3 décembre, pour la mise en place d’ici septembre 2021 d’un nouveau camp d’accueil pour migrants sur l’île de Lesbos. Ce nouveau camp doit remplacer celui de Moria détruit en septembre.

      Le soutien de l’Union européenne dans la gestion de ce nouveau « centre d’accueil » sera inédit, et l’accord prévoit une répartition des responsabilités entre la Commission, les autorités grecques et les agences de l’UE.

      Après la destruction du camp insalubre de Moria, le plus grand d’Europe, un campement provisoire a été établi sur l’île. Plus de 7 300 demandeurs d’asile, parmi lesquels des enfants, des personnes handicapées ou malades, s’entassent sous des tentes, sans chauffage ni eau chaude à l’approche de l’hiver.

      Dans le nouveau camp, « nous allons fournir des conditions décentes aux migrants et réfugiés qui arrivent, et aussi soutenir les habitants sur les îles grecques », a déclaré la présidente de la Commission européenne, Ursula von der Leyen, dans un communiqué, où elle souligne également la nécessité de « procédures rapides et équitables » pour l’examen des demandes d’asile. Pour les migrants, « les centres doivent n’être qu’un arrêt temporaire avant leur retour (vers leur pays d’origine ou de transit) ou leur intégration », précise Mme von der Leyen.

      « Une étape importante »

      La Commission prévoit de consacrer environ 130 millions d’euros pour les sites de Lesbos et de Chios, dont la très grosse majorité pour Lesbos. En outre, 121 millions d’euros ont été alloués le mois dernier à la construction de trois camps moins importants sur les îles de Samos, Kos et Leros.

      « Cet accord est une étape importante (…) pour s’assurer qu’une situation comme celle de Moria ne puisse plus se reproduire », a ajouté la commissaire européenne aux affaires intérieures, Ylva Johansson. Elle a estimé que ce nouveau camp « marquait un changement dans la façon d’appréhender la gestion des migrations, et ouvre la voie à une mise en pratique des principes directeurs du nouveau pacte sur la migration et l’asile ».

      La Commission européenne a présenté fin septembre un projet de réforme de la politique commune de l’asile, un dossier ultrasensible sur lequel la recherche d’un compromis est extrêmement difficile, cinq ans après la crise migratoire de 2015.

      Lesbos, en mer Egée ainsi que d’autres îles grecques proches des côtes occidentales de la Turquie voisine, est l’une des principales portes d’entrée des migrants en Europe. La Grèce a considérablement réduit le nombre d’arrivées en 2020 mais les conditions de vie dans les camps d’accueil restent particulièrement éprouvantes.

      https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2020/12/03/accord-entre-l-union-europeenne-et-la-grece-pour-un-nouveau-camp-a-lesbos-en

  • Migrations : l’agence européenne #Frontex mise en cause pour des #refoulements en mer

    Des investigations menées par plusieurs médias dénoncent les pratiques illégales des #gardes-frontières_grecs impliquant parfois l’agence européenne de surveillance des frontières.

    Une enquête de plusieurs médias, dont le magazine allemand Spiegel, affirme que Frontex, l’agence européenne de surveillance des frontières, est impliquée dans plusieurs incidents de refoulement en mer de bateaux de demandeurs d’asile traversant la mer Egée entre la Turquie et la Grèce.

    Les investigations menées « montrent pour la première fois que les responsables de Frontex sont conscients des pratiques illégales des gardes-frontières grecs – et sont en partie impliqués dans les refoulements eux-mêmes », écrit le Spiegel dans un article disponible en ligne samedi 24 octobre.
    Les journalistes assurent avoir documenté six cas survenus depuis avril en mer Egée dans lesquels des équipes de Frontex ont au minimum assisté sans réagir à des refoulements vers la Turquie de bateaux de réfugiés se trouvant dans les eaux grecques, une pratique illégale. Dans un cas, en juin, une vidéo montre un navire de Frontex bloquant un bateau de réfugiés, puis, dans une autre scène enregistrée, passant devant le bateau de réfugiés à grande vitesse avant de quitter les lieux.

    Des dizaines de vidéos, d’images satellites, de récits comparés

    Outre le Spiegel, les recherches ont été menées par un magazine de la chaîne allemande ARD, le collectif de journalistes Lighthouse Reports, la plate-forme d’investigations Bellingcat et la chaîne de télévision japonaise TV Asahi. Les auteurs expliquent avoir comparé des « dizaines » de vidéos, d’images satellites, de récits de témoins oculaires, dont des réfugiés et des employés de Frontex. L’agence européenne de surveillance des frontières a engagé plus de 600 agents en Grèce, une des portes d’entrée de l’Union européenne, ainsi que des bateaux, des drones et des avions, selon l’article.

    Frontex n’a pas commenté les cas précis soulevés par la recherche, explique le Spiegel, mais a déclaré que ses agents étaient liés par un code de conduite en matière de droits de l’homme et respectaient l’interdiction des refoulements. Sans mentionner l’article, Frontex a annoncé vendredi soir sur son compte Twitter avoir été « en contact avec les autorités grecques à propos d’incidents en mer ces derniers mois » et qu’Athènes avait ouvert une « enquête interne ». Frontex agit « dans le respect des droits fondamentaux et de la loi internationale », souligne l’agence sur Twitter.
    Le gouvernement conservateur grec a toujours rejeté les allégations de refoulements illégaux à ses frontières dont font régulièrement état plusieurs organisations non gouvernementales.

    https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2020/10/24/migrations-l-agence-europeenne-frontex-mise-en-cause-pour-des-refoulements-e
    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #push-backs #refoulements #Mer_Egée #Grèce #Turquie

    ping @isskein @karine4

    • Frontex at Fault : European Border Force Complicit in ‘Illegal’ Pushbacks

      Vessels from the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, Frontex, have been complicit in maritime “pushback” operations to drive away refugees and migrants attempting to enter the European Union via Greek waters, a joint investigation by Bellingcat, Lighthouse Reports, Der Spiegel, ARD and TV Asahi has found.

      Open source data suggests Frontex assets were actively involved in one pushback incident at the Greek-Turkish maritime border in the Aegean Sea, were present at another and have been in the vicinity of four more since March.

      Although Frontex assets were not at the immediate scene of those latter four incidents, the signature of a pushback is distinctive, and would likely have been visible on radar, with visual tools common on such vessels or to the naked eye.

      The Greek Coast Guard (HCG) has long been accused of illegal pushbacks.

      These are described by the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), a legal and educational non-profit, as incidents where refugees and migrants are forced back over a border without consideration of individual circumstances and without any possibility to apply for asylum or to put forward arguments against the measures taken.

      In the Aegean Sea, pushbacks generally occur in two ways. The first type is the most common: Dinghies travelling from Turkey to Greece are blocked from landing on Greek soil by the HCG. This could mean either physically blocking the dinghy until it runs out of fuel, or disabling the engine. After the engine no longer works the dinghy can then either be pushed back into Turkish territorial water with waves, or towed if the wind is not favourable.

      The second type of pushback is employed when people have managed to land on Greek soil. In this case they are detained, placed in a liferaft with no means of propulsion, towed into the middle of the Aegean Sea and then abandoned.

      Pushbacks will often result in standoffs between the HCG and Turkish Coast Guard (TCG), both of which will standby, refusing to aid dinghies in distress and carrying out unsafe manoeuvres around them.

      The role of Frontex assets in such incidents, however, has never been recorded before.

      Dana Schmalz, an international law expert at the Max Planck Institute in Heidelberg said the incidents highlighted in this investigation were likely “illegal” and “violate the prohibition of refoulement and maritime law.” The prohibition of refoulement refers to rules banning the forcible return of refugees or asylum seekers and is described by the UN Refugee Agency as a “rule of customary international law.”

      Schmalz added that if Frontex personnel stopped an overcrowded dinghy of the type seen in footage documented during this investigation, they would be obliged to rescue its occupants immediately. “If they don’t do that, even make waves [or] instead drive away and then let the Greeks do the dirty work – then they are involved in the illegal pushback.”

      Despite being presented with numerous examples of the practice, a spokesperson for the Greek Maritime Ministry Greek denied claims of pushbacks, describing allegations of illegal actions relating to the incidents documented in this article as “tendentious.” They added that HCG officers act in compliance with the country’s international obligations.

      Frontex said that the host states it works with have the final say in how operations on its territory or search and rescue zone are carried out. However, it added that Frontex had notified HCG which confirmed an internal inquiry had been launched into each of the reported incidents. Yet Frontex did not say when it notified HCG or when the inquiry had begun.

      On July 24, the director of Frontex, Fabrice Leggeri, told the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) at the European Parliament that the agency had observed and recorded just a single incident which may have been a pushback in the Aegean.

      Our investigation — which looked at the presence of Frontex assets in the Aegean Sea and observed their movements over many months — appears to contradict that assertion.

      This was despite the difficulty in tracking many Frontex assets because their transponder information was either not registered, not turned on, or was out of range. As such, we were only able to view a snapshot of Frontex operations.

      Frontex, an agency of the European Union, is tasked with border control of the Schengen Area. Its activities in the Aegean are called Operation Poseidon.
      How we Recorded Pushbacks: Identification of Assets

      There were two main steps to establishing that Frontex had participated in pushback operations. The first was to identify what assets had been deployed in Operation Poseidon. The second was to establish whether these assets had participated in pushback operations.

      The first step was carried out using open sources. These included social media posts, vessel tracking sites and information published by Frontex itself. We were also able to establish the number of personnel and assets present in the operational area thanks to questions asked in the European Parliament.

      According to this response, Operation Poseidon has 185 personnel, one offshore patrol vessel (OPV), eight coastal patrol boats (CPB), one coastal patrol vessel (CPV), four thermal vision vehicles (TVV) and three patrol cars.

      There is also a “Rapid Border Intervention”, which contains additional assets on top of those dedicated to Operation Poseidon. This includes 74 personnel, two CPBs, two CPVs, one helicopter and three TVVs.

      In total we used open sources to identify 22 assets, including vessels, helicopters and planes, which operated in the Aegean during 2020. Although this is more than the total given in the answer to parliamentary questions above, some of these assets were rotating in or out of theater.
      Tracking Assets

      Some assets featured regularly on the open source record. For example, Romanian and Bulgarian vessels regularly transit through the Bosphorus strait, where there is an active ship-spotting community. As such it was possible to identify their operational rotations, including vessels heading to and returning from deployments roughly every three months. However, other assets were more difficult to track, and their presence on the open source record consisted of a single image or video.


      https://twitter.com/YorukIsik/status/1262417193083510784

      In order to track these assets and identify if they had participated in pushbacks, we required far more data than was available on social media. As such, we turned to AIS and transponder data, publicly available information about the location of particular ships or aircraft, available through sites such as Marine Traffic or Flight Radar 24.

      Many of the assets we identified either did not have their information publicly listed, or appeared to only turn on their transponders under certain circumstances, such as when in port. This made them extremely difficult to track. However, some assets did have their transponders on. We began to collect this data, buying additional, more granular data from ship and flight tracking companies on dates when pushbacks had been reported.

      We combined this tracking data with our own database of reported pushbacks, which we obtained through both public reports and information collected by NGOs such as Consolidated Rescue Group (CRG), Monitoring Rescue Cell (MRC) and Alarm Phone, who track these events. These included the coordinates of reported pushback events, frequently sent by the occupants of the dinghies. By overlaying these datasets we identified multiple pushback incidents in which Frontex assets were in the vicinity. Once we had identified these priority incidents we could then examine the specifics of what had happened.
      Incidents

      Using this data we identified six pushback incidents since March in which Frontex assets were either in the vicinity or participated directly. We have separated these into four “proximity incidents,” where Frontex assets were within five kilometers of the incident, and two “confirmed incidents,” where we can be certain that Frontex were present at the site of pushbacks themselves.
      Proximity Incidents

      April 28-29: In an incident we have previously reported, a group of refugees and migrants made landfall on Samos. They claim they were then detained, placed in a life-raft without any means of propulsion and towed into the middle of the Mycale Strait. A surveillance plane overflew the area twice while this pushback took place.

      June 4: Two dinghies were reported to have been pushed back from Northern Lesbos. Portuguese vessel Nortada appears to have been present around 15 kilometers from the first incident and just over one kilometer away from the second.

      June 5: A dinghy was reported to have been pushed back from Northern Lesbos. Portuguese vessel Nortada was approximately two to three kilometers away.

      August 19: A dinghy was reported to have been pushed back from Northern Lesbos. Portuguese vessel Molivos was five kilometers away and appears to have changed course and headed towards the pushback before its transponder either lost signal or was turned off.

      In these cases, Frontex assets were recorded as being within a certain range, rather than participating directly. Their exact knowledge of what was happening at these distances is difficult to confirm. Operation Poseidon’s mission includes a significant number of tasks requiring surveillance, and its assets are able to use both radar and visual tools, such as low-light or infrared cameras, to observe the environment around them.

      For example, we know that the Molivos is equipped with an FLIR camera similar to this one seen on another Portuguese Frontex vessel. This model is capable of x36 magnification, with low light and infrared cameras.

      The boats that migrants use to make this crossing are very basic, inflatable rubber dinghies several meters long with a single outboard motor. Due to their construction, it is unlikely that these boats would be visible on radar. However, pushbacks don’t just involve a single dinghy. By their definition they must involve at least one other vessel. From images and videos of pushbacks we have reviewed, it is clear that they often involve multiple ships from both the Greek and Turkish coast guards.

      As stated above, ships from both Greece and Turkey will frequently attempt to push the dinghies across the sea border using waves. These vessels manoeuvre in a circular pattern at a relatively high speed close to the dinghy. This manoeuvre is not only dangerous because of the risk of collision, the waves it generates also represent a threat to the overcrowded and often fragile dinghies.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8BdEHtBWp4&feature=emb_logo

      As such, although a dinghy itself may not show up on radar, the signature of a pushback would. Multiple large and small vessels from both TCG and HCG, some of which are carrying out unusual manoeuvres in order to create waves, would be very difficult to miss. Indeed you can even see this kind of event from space.

      There’s also the matter of visual range. The same factors that make a pushback visible on radar will also make it visible to the eye or other visual systems such as surveillance cameras. Even at a range of a few kilometers in calm seas and good conditions, a dinghy would likely be visible, although exact details such as the nature of its passengers might not be. The other aspects of pushbacks which we have already described would also certainly be visible.

      The case of the April 28-29 pushback is a good illustration of surveillance assets passing very close to the results of a pushback.
      April 28

      In an incident previously covered by Bellingcat, a group of 22 migrants who landed on Samos were detained by Greek law enforcement. They were then placed on a life raft without any means of propulsion, and towed into the middle of the Mycale Strait by the Greek coast guard. In response to our request for comment at the time, the Greek government denied these people had ever reached Greek territory, despite witness statements, images, and videos showing this had in fact happened.

      As the life raft was floating in the strait, a private sureveillance plane passed over the area twice at 5,000 feet, once at 02:41 AM and once at 03:18 AM. This plane, G-WKTH, belongs to DEA Aviation, which provides aerial surveillance services to Frontex. In a promotional video from Frontex, it is claimed these feeds are live-streamed back to the Frontex HQ in Warsaw

      The plane is reportedly equipped with an MX-15 camera, which has both low-light and infrared sensors. Considering this plane is specifically employed for aerial surveillance, it would be surprising if it did not identify the life raft full of people and, according to one member of this group, the presence of Greek and later Turkish vessels.

      Indeed, the Frontex executive director’s response to the LIBE committee of the European Parliament indicates this may have been the incident Frontex reported as having seen. In this reply a “Serious Incident Report (‘SIR’) was created based on a sighting of an incident by aerial surveillance where people were transferred on a rubber boat from a vessel and later on rescued by Turkish authorities.
      Active incidents

      In two cases on June 8 and August 15, it seems certain that Frontex was aware of pushbacks as they took place. Indeed, on June 8, it appears that a Frontex vessel participated in a pushback, physically blocking a dinghy from reaching Greek territory.

      We will first address the incident on August 15, where a Frontext vessel was present at the scene of a pushback, before examining the June 8, where a Frontex asset appears to have participated in a pushback.
      August 15

      On the morning of August 15 there were reports of a confrontation between the Greek and Turkish coast guards. As well as multiple photos posted to social media by locals, this was also reported as a pushback by CRG, MRC, Alarm Phone and Aegean Boat Report.

      CRG and MRC also posted videos from people on this dinghy, with CRG’s video showing an engine without a starter cord, claiming it had been taken by the Greek Coast Guard. In the videos, the dinghy is surrounded by vessels from both the Greek and Turkish coast guards. We have previously noted that disabling the motor of dinghies is a tactic that has reportedly been used by the Greek Coast Guard.

      Most of the images of this incident are taken from a distance, making identification of the vessels difficult. However, we were also sent an image of this confrontation that is very clear. In this image we can clearly see the presence of MAI1102, a Romanian border forces vessel which had just arrived in theater.

      The metadata of this image is consistent with the date and time of this incident. Indeed, the ships can be seen arrayed in almost exactly the same manner in a video filmed by the people on the boat.

      Although it is not possible to be certain of exactly how far away MAI1102 is from this pushback, we can see that it is certainly within visual range of the confrontation and the dinghy itself.
      June 8

      On the morning of June 8 a pushback was reported to have taken place, again off the north-east coast of Lesbos. The Turkish coast guard reported it rescued 47 migrants after a pushback by the Greek Coast Guard that day. Footage published by Anadolu Agency appeared to show the Romanian Frontex vessel MAI1103 blocking a dinghy.

      We investigated this incident further, obtaining other videos from the TCG, as well as tracking data of vessels that appeared to be in the vicinity at the time, such as the NATO ship, Berlin. Using these sources we were able to reconstruct what happened.

      After initially trying to cross under the cover of darkness, the dinghy was intercepted and physically blocked from proceeding by MAI1103 early in the morning.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZoNJXY3pa_U&feature=emb_logo

      We can see the exact time and a set of coordinates in one of the videos we obtained.

      We plotted the coordinates visible on the screen as they changed. It became clear these were not the location of the vessel with the camera, but rather the location of the dinghy and MAI1103.

      We can visually confirm the general location by comparing a panoramic view that is visible in one of the videos against the appearance of the landscape from the coordinates which appear on the camera feed.

      We can now start to build a picture of what happened that morning.

      We can see that the dinghy was extremely close to MAI1103, and is being physically blocked by the ship. Indeed the two vessels are close enough that it appears that personnel on MAI1103 are communicating with people in the dinghy.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qD_I--2LPA&feature=emb_logo

      At one point MAI1103 makes a pass close to the dinghy at enough speed to generate waves, a maneuver that previously only HCG and TCG have been seen making. It is especially dangerous due to the overloaded and unseaworthy nature of the dinghies.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iUm1_e2R6A&feature=emb_logo

      Eventually HCG vessels arrive and MAI1103 leaves, resulting in a standoff between the TCG and HCG. This lasted several hours and gradually moved to the north-west, observed by the NATO ship Berlin.

      During this period the dinghy was approached at least twice by a rigid-hulled inflatable boat 060 (RHIB) from the HCG.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WODSvxnmoc&feature=emb_logo

      In what appears to be the final segment of video taken at about 09:30 AM we see the TCG radar screen, which can be exactly matched with the Turkish coast. This radar screen matches perfectly with the location and heading of the Berlin at this time, as we can see by overlaying a plot of the Berlin’s course with the radar screen.

      As well as matching the movement of vessels to AIS data, we can further verify that these videos are from the same incident by examining the passengers in the dinghy. We can see that in the earliest videos, showing the MAI1103 with the dinghy, there is clearly a person wearing a white hood, alongside someone who appears to be wearing a reddish top. The presence of these passengers helps to verify that all these videos are indeed from the same incident on June 8.

      In the final stage of the pushback at 10:30 AM it is possible to see the Portuguese Frontex vessel Nortada within 5 km with both AIS data and on the TCG radar screen. The Nortada had been in that vicinity since at least 09:11 AM that morning. Although it may not have been able to pick up this dinghy on its radar, it would have certainly been within visual range of the larger ships surrounding it. After the pushback, the Nortada continued its patrol off North Lesbos.

      Conclusion

      Over the course of this investigation we collected a huge amount of information on Frontex activities in the Aegean Sea. Most of Frontex’s assets were impossible to track because their transponder information was either not registered, not turned on, or was out of range. As such, we were only able to view a snapshot of Frontex operations.

      Despite this limited view, we still managed to identify multiple instances in which Frontex was either present at pushbacks, or close enough to be able to understand what was taking place. In at least one incident it appears that a Frontex vessel actively participated in a pushback. It is possible that there are other incidents we have not been able to capture.

      In a statement provided in response to this investigation, Frontex stated that it applies “the highest standards of border control to its operations” and that its officers are bound by a code of conduct that looks to prevent refoulement and to uphold human rights.

      The statement continued that Frontex’s executive director had notified the HGC regarding all reported incidents and that Greek authorities confirmed that an internal inquiry had been launched.

      A spokesperson for the Greek Maritime Ministry said the actions of HCG officers were “carried out in full compliance with the country’s international obligations, in particular the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea and the International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue.”

      The spokesperson added that thousands of migrants had been rescued throughout the refugee crisis of recent years by the HCG, that allegations of illegality were “tendentious” and that the “operation practices of the Greek authorities have never included such [illegal] actions.”

      https://www.bellingcat.com/news/2020/10/23/frontex-at-fault-european-border-force-complicit-in-illegal-pushbacks

      #forensic_architecture #architecture_forensique

    • EU Border Agency Frontex Complicit in Greek Refugee Pushback Campaign

      Greek border guards have been forcing large numbers of refugees back to sea in pushback operations that violate international law. #DER_SPIEGEL and its reporting partners have learned that the European Union is also complicit in the highly controversial practice.

      Jouma al-Badi thought he was safe when he first set foot on European soil on April 28. Together with 21 other refugees, he had been taken in a rubber dinghy from Turkey to the Greek island of Samos. The young Syrian planned to apply for political asylum. He documented his arrival in videos. Local residents also remember the refugees.

      Greek security forces captured the migrants. Under international law, it is their duty to give the new arrivals a hearing and field their applications for asylum. Instead, according to al-Badi, the officers dragged them back out to sea and released them on an inflatable rubber raft. Videos obtained by DER SPIEGEL also show him on the raft.

      For an entire night and a morning, Greek border guards kept pushing the men and women away as their raft floated around in circles. The Turkish coast guard filmed the maneuver.

      An aircraft used by the European border protection agency Frontex also passed over the refugees. The crew of the surveillance plane, with the registration identifier "G-WKTH,” were part of a European Union operation in Greece. The plane twice flew over the Strait of Mykali, where al-Badi and the other migrants were located. According to flight data that has been viewed by DER SPIEGEL, the first flight happened at 2:41 a.m. and the second at 3:18 a.m.

      The plane’s crew has a standard MX-15 camera on board with an infrared sensor and a sensor for poor lighting conditions. Even at night, the sensors are capable of detecting small objects on the water. According to a Frontex promotional video, the camera images are streamed live to Frontex headquarters in Warsaw, Poland. But Frontex didn’t send any help.

      The waves struck the Syrian in the face. He eventually ran out of strength and thought he was going to die.

      The Greek government denies it conducted pushbacks of refugees to Turkey, even though DER SPIEGEL and other media have fully documented several of these operations, known as pushbacks. Greek border guards are growing increasingly ruthless. As in the case of al-Badi, they are now pushing even refugees who have reached the Greek isles back to sea in operations that are illegal under international law.

      Frontex officials have publicly claimed that they know nothing about pushbacks by Greek border guards. The agency has 600 employees deployed in Greece as well as ships, drones and aircraft.

      Together with Lighthouse Reports, Bellingcat, "Report Mainz” — a program on ARD, the German public broadcaster — and Japanese broadcaster TV Asahi, DER SPIEGEL spent several months reporting in the Aegean Sea region. The reporters tracked the positions of Frontex units and compared them with position data from pushbacks recorded by NGOs and migrants. They interviewed witnesses, refugees and Frontex staff. They viewed internal documents and dozens of videos and satellite photos.

      Their research proves for the first time that Frontex officials know about the Greek border guards’ illegal practices – and that the agency itself is at times involved in the pushbacks. Breaking the law has become an everyday occurrence at Europe’s borders, and the EU is allowing it to happen.

      Samira Mohammad could already see Lesbos when the men with the masks arrived. The Syrian woman, who does not want to provide her real name, is 45 years old. That morning of August 15, she was sitting in a rubber dinghy with dozens of other people. She recalls how Greek border guards tried in vain to stop the arrivals and how they steered toward the boat repeatedly and pushed it back toward Turkey multiple times. She says the Turkish coast guard held them off. Locals even have a name for the cynical game: "Greek water polo.”

      Mohammad claims the Greek officials took their gasoline and destroyed the engine. And that masked Greek border guards then boarded the dinghy. Several refugees claim that they forced the migrants to tie the shaky rubber dinghy to a speedboat at gunpoint. The border guards then towed the boat toward Turkey. Videos corroborate the statements made by the refugees, and the destroyed engine is clearly visible.

      Mohammad said she was scared to death during those moments. Her entire family had been onboard, including her pregnant daughter-in-law, who was later hospitalized with severe bleeding.

      The maneuver off the coast of Lesbos lasted hours, and the Turkish Navy didn’t rescue the refugees until noon.

      A Romanian Frontex boat was also on site that morning. The MAI 1102 was located only a few hundred meters away from the refugee boat. The boat can be clearly identified in a photo. A German navy ship on a NATO mission that observed the incident reported it to the German government. It also stated that Frontex people had been present. This is documented in an internal paper that has been obtained by DER SPIEGEL. Nevertheless, this pushback has never been revealed publicly before now.

      On June 8, Frontex officials went one step further, with the MAI 1103, a ship also flying the Romanian flag. It directly blocked a refugee boat. The incident can be seen in several videos recorded by the Turkish coast guard and verified by DER SPIEGEL. It shows officials standing on the deck, where they are obviously communicating with the refugees floating in the water in front of them.

      Later, the MAI 1103 passes the refugees traveling at high speed, with waves beating against the boat. The Romanian officials then withdrew and the Greek coast guard took over the operation.

      "These pushbacks violate the ban on collective expulsions and international maritime law,” says Dana Schmalz, an expert on international law at the Max Planck Institute in Heidelberg. She notes that if Frontex officials stopped a completely overcrowded inflatable boat, they would be required to rescue the people immediately. "If they don’t do that and even make waves instead, only to drive away and let the Greeks do the dirty work, then they are still involved in the illegal pushback,” she says.

      Reporting by DER SPIEGEL and its partners found that a Frontex surveillance plane or Portuguese or Romanian Frontex ships were near at least six pushbacks in the area since April. The number of undetected cases could actually be much higher.

      The vast majority of Frontex vessels patrol the Aegean Sea with their AIS transponders switched off or untraceable in order to prevent giving away their positions. Their presence can only be verified with difficulty through videos and photos.

      When contacted for comment by DER SPIEGEL, Frontex did not deny the individual incidents, instead stating that the officials protected the fundamental rights of migrants and respected their right to non-refoulement. It further stated that the incidents that had been reported were forwarded to the Greek coast guard, which opened an investigation into the matter. The Greek government gave a blanket denial to the allegations, saying that it complies with the law and does not carry out illegal deportations.

      Under Frontex’s statutes, police officers are required to file so-called Serious Incident Reports to document violations of the law. But people familiar with the situation say that fewer and fewer of these reports are getting filed. The sources said the Frontex border guards, who are sent to Greece from all over Europe, frown upon such reports because they cause trouble for the host country.

      https://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/eu-border-agency-frontex-complicit-in-greek-refugee-pushback-campaign-a-4b6c

      –---

      en allemand :
      https://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/fluechtlinge-frontex-in-griechenland-in-illegale-pushbacks-verwickelt-a-0000

    • Bruxelles veut des explications de Frontex, accusée de procéder à des refoulements illégaux de migrants

      La #Commission_européenne a sollicité une réunion extraordinaire urgente du conseil d’administration de Frontex, l’agence européenne pour la protection des frontières, mise en cause pour des refoulements illégaux de migrants en mer Égée. Un article d’Euroefe.

      « Après s’être coordonnés avec la présidente de la Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, mes services ont demandé, au nom de la Commission, la convocation d’une réunion extraordinaire du conseil d’administration de Frontex le 10 novembre pour discuter des incidents présumés de refoulement en Grèce et de la protection des droits fondamentaux », a écrit Ylva Johansson, la commissaire chargée des migrations, dans un tweet.

      D’après des enquêtes menées par différents médias, Frontex aurait procédé à des refoulements illégaux de migrants en mer Égée, à la frontière entre la Turquie et la Grèce. Et ce à au moins six reprises.

      L’hebdomadaire allemand Der Spiegel a révélé le 23 octobre qu’il avait enquêté sur ces incidents en collaboration avec les médias numériques néerlandais Lighthouse Reports et britannique Bellingcat, ainsi qu’avec deux chaînes de télévision, l’Allemande ARD et la Japonaise Asahi.

      Ces médias disposent de films montrant comment, depuis le mois d’avril, des agents de Frontex ont procédé à ce que l’on appelle des « pushbacks » (refoulements) de migrants pour les empêcher d’atteindre le sol européen, une pratique illégale.

      Une vidéo montre comment un bateau de l’agence européenne bloque le passage d’une embarcation occupée par des migrants, avant de les dépasser à grande vitesse, provoquant ainsi de grosses vagues. Par la suite, les garde-côtes grecs obligent la barque à faire demi-tour vers la Turquie.

      De son côté, Frontex a nié les accusations et assuré au Spiegel que ses agents protégeaient les droits fondamentaux des migrants et respectaient le droit au non-refoulement.

      Le gouvernement grec a également nié catégoriquement ces accusations.

      https://www.euractiv.fr/section/migrations/news/bruxelles-veut-des-explications-de-frontex-accusee-de-proceder-a-des-refoulements-illegaux-de-migrants/?_ga=2.223583131.1633915392.1603989521-379746837.1590938192

    • Greek coast guard performed huge pushback involving 197 people and 7 life rafts!

      A boat carrying 197 people tried to cross from Turkey to Italy on Tuesday, but got in to bad weather and sat course towards Crete. Close to the south shore of Crete they had engine problems and the Greek Coast Guard was alerted 09.00.
      The coast guard divided the people on two coast guard vessels, 121 men and boys on one vessel and 76 people, families on the other. Reports from the refugees clearly states that some of them where abuse while onboard the HCG vessel, footage and video testimony has been provided. Most of their phones was confiscated by the Greek coast guard, but a few managed to hide their phones, and was able to send out distress messages.
      The first group containing the 121 males was forced in to 3 life rafts before first light on Wednesday the 21th just north of Rhodes, and found and picked up by Turkish coast guard 08.50 south of Marmaris.
      The second group with the families, 76 people, was put in 4 life rafts around noon north west of Simi, drifting for hours and not picked up by Turkish coast guard before 17.30 south west of Datça.
      This shows that the Greek coast guard is determined to prevent anyone to reach Greek soil, no matter the consequences or potential harm they may inflict on innocent people fleeing war and persecution.
      This is by far the largest pushback Aegean Boat Report has been able to document, but I guess nothing is a surprise anymore. No measures have been taken by the EU to try to stop this illegal practice by the Greek government, even do they have received overwhelming amounts of evidence.

      https://www.facebook.com/AegeanBoatReport/posts/951612422028529

    • Έστειλαν πίσω 200 πρόσφυγες γιατί ήταν… τζιχαντιστές

      Τεκμηριωμένη καταγγελία για τη μεγαλύτερη ώς τώρα καταγεγραμμένη επαναπροώθηση προσφύγων από το Λιμενικό προς την Τουρκία με μεγάλη και κρυφή επιχείρηση του Λιμενικού εν μέσω σφοδρής κακοκαιρίας νότια της Κρήτης ● Έντεχνη προσπάθεια οι 200 άνθρωποι, μεταξύ αυτών και γυναικόπαιδα, να εμφανιστούν ως… ισλαμιστές τρομοκράτες.

      Ακόμα μια καταγγελία για βίαιες επαναπροωθήσεις προσφύγων από το Λιμενικό έρχεται στο φως τις τελευταίες ημέρες, την ίδια στιγμή που η κυβέρνηση πανηγυρίζει για τη μείωση των προσφυγικών ροών προς τα νησιά, χωρίς όμως να εξηγεί πώς έχει επιτευχθεί η μείωση αυτή.

      Η υπόθεση αφορά πλοιάριο με περίπου 200 ανθρώπους που έφτασαν στα ανοιχτά της Κρήτης, προερχόμενοι από Τουρκία και με τελικό προορισμό την Ιταλία. Στη συγκεκριμένη περίπτωση υπάρχει μια περίεργη αλληλουχία γεγονότων και « ειδήσεων » τόσο στα κρητικά όσο και τα κεντρικά ΜΜΕ. Το πρωί της Τρίτης 20 Οκτωβρίου σε όλα τα ηλεκτρονικά ΜΜΕ της Κρήτης μεταδίδεται η είδηση για « κινητοποίηση του Λιμενικού » για σκάφος με 200 μετανάστες στη θαλάσσια περιοχή νότια της νήσου Χρυσής (Γαϊδουρονήσι), στην Ιεράπετρα. Το προηγούμενο βράδυ η Κρήτη είχε χτυπηθεί σφοδρά από την κακοκαιρία και το πρωί τα βλέμματα όλων ήταν στις εκτεταμένες καταστροφές που προκάλεσε το χαλάζι σε καλλιέργειες και υποδομές, κυρίως στην ανατολική πλευρά του νησιού. Την ίδια κακοκαιρία προφανώς αντιμετώπισαν και οι 200 επιβαίνοντες στο σκάφος, μεταξύ των οποίων υπήρχαν γυναίκες και παιδιά.

      Στις πρώτες αναφορές και σε ερωτήσεις δημοσιογράφων προς το Λιμεναρχείο Ιεράπετρας γινόταν λόγος για « αδυναμία του Λιμενικού να εντοπίσει το πλοιάριο », ωστόσο δινόταν η πληροφορία πως τα σκάφη θα έμεναν στα ανοιχτά λόγω της κακοκαιρίας και για την περίπτωση που χρειαστεί, να παράσχουν βοήθεια αν εντοπίσουν τους πρόσφυγες. Λίγες ώρες αργότερα η είδηση εξαφανίστηκε από τα ΜΜΕ και δημιουργήθηκε η εντύπωση πως τα σκάφη του Λιμενικού δεν βρήκαν ποτέ το πλοιάριο με τους πρόσφυγες.
      Τους βρήκαν ;

      Ωστόσο τα πράγματα φαίνεται πως έγιναν διαφορετικά. Τέσσερις μέρες μετά, η οργάνωση Aegean Boat Report, η οποία και στο παρελθόν έχει αποκαλύψει παράνομες επιχειρήσεις επαναπροώθησης λέμβων με μετανάστες προς την Τουρκία από τις ελληνικές αρχές και τη Frontex, καταγγέλλει πως το Λιμενικό όχι μόνο βρήκε τους πρόσφυγες στα ανοιχτά της Κρήτης αλλά προχώρησε και με συνοπτικές διαδικασίες στην επαναπροώθησή τους στην Τουρκία. Η οργάνωση καταγγέλλει πως η ελληνική Ακτοφυλακή εντόπισε τους πρόσφυγες στις 9 το πρωί της Τρίτης (όπως δηλαδή μετέδιδαν αρχικά και τα κρητικά ΜΜΕ). Στη συνέχεια, πάντα σύμφωνα με την καταγγελία, οι άνδρες του Λιμενικού επιβίβασαν τους 197 πρόσφυγες σε δύο επιχειρησιακά σκάφη χωρίζοντάς τους σε δύο ομάδες. Στην πρώτη ομάδα μπήκαν 121 άνδρες και αγόρια, ενώ στη δεύτερη μπήκαν οικογένειες με γυναίκες και παιδιά, συνολικά 76 άτομα. Και οι δύο ομάδες, πάντα σύμφωνα με την καταγγελία, μεταφέρθηκαν στη θαλάσσια περιοχή βόρεια της Ρόδου, όπου και εξαναγκάστηκαν με τη βία να επιβιβαστούν σε συνολικά επτά θαλάσσιες σωστικές σχεδίες αφού προηγουμένως τους είχαν αφαιρεθεί όλα τα κινητά τηλέφωνα. Και οι επτά σχεδίες « σπρώχτηκαν » προς τις ακτές της Τουρκίας, εν μέσω κακοκαιρίας και κατά παράβαση των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων και του δίκαιου της θάλασσας.

      Στιγμιότυπα από την επαναπροώθηση των προσφύγων (Φωτογραφίες από την οργάνωση Aegean Boat Report).


      Οι τρεις πρώτες σχεδίες, με 121 άτομα, εξωθήθηκαν τα ξημερώματα της Τετάρτης 21/10 προς την περιοχή της Μαρμαρίδας, όπου και εντοπίστηκαν από το τουρκικό Λιμενικό που τους περισυνέλεξε. Το δεύτερο γκρουπ, όπου βρίσκονταν οι γυναίκες και τα παιδιά, εξαναγκάστηκε να επιβιβαστεί σε τέσσερις σωστικές σχεδίες και επαναπροωθήθηκε προς την Τουρκία από τη θαλάσσια περιοχή δυτικά της Σύμης, το μεσημέρι της Τετάρτης. Τους περισυνέλεξε το τουρκικό Λιμενικό το απόγευμα της ίδιας μέρας στην περιοχή νοτιοδυτικά της πόλης Ντάκτα. Οπως αναφέρουν μάλιστα κάποιοι από τους επιβαίνοντες, χτυπήθηκαν από τους Ελληνες λιμενικούς, ενώ υπάρχει και σχετικό φωτογραφικό υλικό που τραβήχτηκε μετά την περισυλλογή τους από τις τουρκικές αρχές. Σε μία από τις φωτογραφίες φαίνεται ένας άνθρωπος με μώλωπες στην κοιλιά και με γύψο σε σημεία και των δύο χεριών του.


      Πρωτοσέλιδο

      Την ίδια μέρα, πάντως, που έγινε η καταγγελία από την Aegean Boat Report (το Σάββατο) η εφημερίδα « ΤΑ ΝΕΑ » κυκλοφορούσε με τίτλο « Προετοιμαστείτε για Τζιχαντιστές », αναφερόμενη στο μήνυμα που, σύμφωνα με πληροφορίες της εφημερίδας, έστειλε σε Ελλάδα και Κύπρο ο Αιγύπτιος πρόεδρος Αλ Σίσι κατά την τριμερή συνάντηση που πραγματοποιήθηκε στη Λευκωσία. Το μήνυμα υποτίθεται πως αφορούσε τις πληροφορίες που έχει η Αίγυπτος για τις κινήσεις του Ερντογάν και το πώς χρησιμοποιεί τον ισλαμιστικό παράγοντα. Σε κάποια κρητικά ΜΜΕ οι δύο υποθέσεις δεν άργησαν να συνδεθούν με αναφορές για το… περίεργο σκάφος στο οποίο, σύμφωνα με τα δημοσιεύματα, επέβαιναν « άτομα εμφανιζόμενα ως μετανάστες » και το οποίο, σύμφωνα με τις διοχετευμένες πληροφορίες, έχει κινητοποιήσει όχι μόνο το Λιμενικό αλλά και τον Στρατό, την ΕΥΠ ακόμα και ξένες μυστικές υπηρεσίες !

      Όπως αποκαλύπτεται, πάντως, οι επικίνδυνοι « τζιχαντιστές », τόσο οι άνδρες όσο και τα γυναικόπαιδα, είχαν ήδη από την Τετάρτη επαναπροωθηθεί παράνομα στην Τουρκία. Η Οργάνωση Aegean Boat Report αναφέρει πως αυτή είναι η μεγαλύτερη περίπτωση « pushback » που καταφέρνει να καταγράψει και τονίζει πως η Ευρωπαϊκή Ενωση δεν έχει επιβάλει ακόμα καμία κύρωση στην Ελλάδα για τις παράνομες επαναπροωθήσεις, παρά τα ακλόνητα στοιχεία που έχουν τεθεί στη διάθεση των ευρωπαϊκών αρχών.

      https://www.efsyn.gr/efkriti/koinonia/265835_esteilan-piso-200-prosfyges-giati-itan-tzihantistes

    • Greece’s coast guard accused of mass migrant pushbacks

      An NGO, the #Aegean_Boat_Report (ABR), has accused the Greek coast guard of pushing back 197 migrants at sea last week.

      Greek coast guards have been accused by the NGO Aegean Boat Report (ABR) of performing illegal pushbacks involving 197 people and seven life rafts off the coast of the island of Crete in the Southern Aegean.

      A boat carrying 197 people was on its way trying to cross from Turkey to Italy on October 20 but ran into bad weather and changed course towards Crete, the NGO said.

      Close to the south shore of Crete, the vessel reported engine problems and, according to the Norwegian organization, the Greek coast guard was alerted at 9 am.

      ’’The Greek coast guard divided the people into two groups onto two coast guard vessels, 121 men and boys on one vessel, and 76 people, mostly families, on the other.

      Abuse on board

      Reports from the refugees clearly state that some of them were abused while onboard the Hellenic coast guard vessel, with footage and video testimony being provided,’’ said ABR via a media statement.

      According to ABR, the first group with the 121 men and boys were forced into three life rafts in the early hours of Wednesday, October 21 just north of Rhodes, before being found and picked up by the Turkish coast guard at 8:50 am south of Marmaris.

      The second group of 76 people, made up of families, were put into four life rafts at around noon north-west of the islands of Simi, drifting for hours and not picked up by Turkish coast guards before 5:30 pm south-west of Data.

      ’Largest pushback’ ABR has documented

      ’’This shows that the Greek coast guard is determined to prevent anyone from reaching Greek soil, no matter the consequences or potential harm they may inflict on innocent people fleeing war and persecution’’, added ABR.

      ’’This is by far the largest pushback Aegean Boat Report has been able to document, but I guess nothing is a surprise anymore. No measures have been taken by the EU to try to stop this illegal practice by the Greek government, even if they have received overwhelming amounts of evidence.’’

      29 NGOs and humanitarian groups sent an open letter to Parliament Last week’s incidents were reported after an appeal was launched by several prominent NGOs and humanitarian groups earlier this month on the topic of illegal pushbacks.

      A total of 29 organizations sent an open letter to Parliament urging it to investigate reports of illegal pushbacks at the country’s land and sea borders with neighboring Turkey.

      The letter called on the Greek Parliament to ’’immediately conduct an effective, transparent and impartial investigation into allegations that personnel from the Coast Guard, the Greek Police and the Greek Army, sometimes in close cooperation with masked men in uniform, have engaged in such actions, which are not only illegal but also endanger the lives and safety of displaced people."

      Tensions on migration in Greece

      Tensions on the migrant issue in Greece continue to run high following September’s fires which destroyed the controversial Moria open camp on Lesbos, and widespread lockdowns at refugee camps across the country following outbreaks of coronavirus cases.

      The reports of pushbacks taking place have prompted action from humanitarian rights groups, with the joint-appeal calling for disciplinary and criminal sanctions, as deemed appropriate, “on anyone in uniform who are found to have participated in such illegal activities, but also for their superiors who are responsible for the administration of these bodies.”

      “The investigation should establish the identity and relationship of the masked men and other unidentified officers to law enforcement, and take steps to hold them to account.”

      State pushes ahead with migrant camps

      Meanwhile, in related developments, the government is pressing ahead with plans to create more secure and strictly controlled ’’closed’’ migrant reception centers on the Aegean islands.

      With the COVID-19 pandemic creating further challenges and complications for the operation of existing camps, most of which are under lockdown due to positive cases of the virus, the state is aiming to build new ’’permanent’’ structures, starting with one on Lesbos.

      The situation on Lesbos is the primary concern right now, as the current temporary facility which was hastily set up in the Kara Tepe area on the coast after Moria was burned down, has already flooded twice with the first rainfalls of the season.

      Lesbos Mayor Stratis Kytelis met with government officials in Athens last week to discuss the location of a new permanent facility on the island, although the plans are being met with resistance from local community groups.Greece’s health authorities, meanwhile, are also conducting regular COVID-19 tests at migrant camps on the Aegean islands to ensure that any outbreak is quickly contained.

      https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/28139/greece-s-coast-guard-accused-of-mass-migrant-pushbacks

    • Frontex sous pression après des accusations de refoulement de migrants aux portes de la Grèce

      C’est une première : mardi 10 novembre, le conseil d’administration de l’Agence européenne des garde-frontières et de garde-côtes Frontex devra examiner des accusations de refoulements illégaux (ou « pushbacks ») de migrants en mer Egée. Elles ont été portées contre Frontex par un groupe de médias. En octobre, le site d’investigation Bellingcat et le magazine Der Spiegel notamment, avaient rapporté, images et témoignages à l’appui, six épisodes au cours desquels des embarcations avaient été bloquées, contrairement aux règles internationales sur le non-refoulement.

      Celles-ci stipulent que des personnes ne peuvent être renvoyées vers un pays, avant un examen de leur situation, si leur existence est en danger en raison de leur race, leur religion, leur nationalité ou leur appartenance à un groupe social ou politique.

      Il aura apparemment fallu une intervention ferme de la Commission européenne pour que la direction de Frontex, devenue le premier corps en uniforme et la plus importante agence de l’Union avec un budget de quelque 500 millions d’euros, accepte de convoquer un conseil extraordinaire. Dans un premier temps, elle s’était contentée d’affirmer, le 24 octobre, qu’elle respectait la loi internationale et était en contact avec la Grèce, qui devait ouvrir « une enquête interne ».
      Enquête interne

      « Si l’agence est impliquée dans de telles actions, c’est totalement inacceptable », déclarait pour sa part la commissaire à la migration, Ylva Johansson, le 26 octobre. Le lendemain, Frontex promettait une enquête interne et, même si elle n’exerce pas une tutelle directe sur l’agence, la Commission obtenait la convocation d’une réunion. A charge pour Fabrice Leggeri, le directeur français, de fournir des explications détaillées.

      « La Grèce ne participe pas à des refoulements, a affirmé de son côté le ministre grec des migrations, Notis Mitarachi. Nous gardons nos frontières en respectant le droit international et nous continuons à sauver des centaines de migrants tous les jours en Méditerranée », a-t-il précisé.

      Athènes fait face depuis des mois à de nombreuses accusations de refoulement en mer Egée et à la frontière terrestre avec la Turquie, dans l’Evros. Le 14 août déjà, le New York Times avait affirmé que les gardes-côtes grecs avaient abandonné en « pleine mer » des canots remplis de migrants. Interviewé par CNN, le premier ministre conservateur Kyriakos Mitsotakis avait démenti : « Cela n’est jamais arrivé. Nous sommes les victimes d’une vaste campagne de désinformation », suggérant que les journalistes avaient interrogé principalement des sources turques voulant décrédibiliser les autorités grecques.

      Depuis l’envoi par la Turquie de milliers de réfugiés à la frontière terrestre de l’Evros, en mars, Athènes a toujours assuré vouloir « protéger ses frontières » qui sont aussi celles de l’Europe et faire face à « une menace ». Le gouvernement a renforcé le contrôle des frontières en embauchant notamment du personnel supplémentaire. Entre avril et juillet, les arrivées à Lesbos ont diminué de 85 % par rapport à l’année dernière, selon le ministère des migrations.
      Des « abus sont trop nombreux pour être ignorés »

      Pour de nombreuses ONG présentes sur le terrain, cette diminution spectaculaire est le résultat de « pushbacks ». Selon Human Rights Watch, « les preuves et les rapports décrivant les abus sont trop nombreux pour être ignorés ». L’organisation dit avoir interrogé des victimes et des témoins qui décrivent comment les garde-côtes grecs, la police, et des hommes masqués et vêtus d’habits sombres ont effectué depuis les îles de Rhodes, de Samos et Simi, des refoulements illégaux de personnes sur de petits canots gonflables.

      A la fin août, le Haut-Commissariat aux réfugiés (HCR) de l’ONU se disait « inquiet de l’augmentation des publications depuis mars 2020 attestant de refoulements illégaux ». « Le HCR a reçu des rapports et des témoignages de personnes abandonnées en pleine mer pendant un long moment, souvent sur des rafiots surpeuplés », précisait le communiqué.

      L’Observatoire grec des accords d’Helsinki a déjà déposé une plainte auprès de la Cour suprême grecque pour le refoulement de plus de 1 300 personnes en s’appuyant sur les témoignages recueillis par plusieurs ONG. En septembre, 29 organisations de défense des droits de l’homme ont par ailleurs adressé une lettre au premier ministre et au parlement grecs pour réclamer une enquête. Leur courrier est encore sans réponse alors que 35 membres d’ONG font, eux, l’objet d’une investigation : ils sont suspectés d’avoir renseigné des migrants sur les positions des gardes-côtes ainsi que des passeurs sur des lieux d’accostage. Ces humanitaires travaillent pour des organisations qui ont dénoncé avec le plus de véhémence les refoulements vers la Turquie par les gardes-côtes grecs.

      Frontex, qui a engagé en Grèce quelque six cents agents dotés de divers moyens de surveillance, a déjà fait l’objet d’autres accusations mais affirme à chaque fois respecter un code de conduite qui prohibe strictement les refoulements. La communication très cadenassée de l’agence ne détaille toutefois pas comment les contrôles sont vraiment exercés. L’action du service interne chargé de contrôler le respect des droits fondamentaux reste également nébuleuse. Une situation déplorée par le HCR, membre du forum consultatif chargé de conseiller l’agence européenne dans son action.

      https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2020/11/05/frontex-sous-pression-apres-des-accusations-de-refoulement-de-migrants-aux-p

    • EU: Probe Frontex Complicity in Border Abuses. Ensure Independent and Effective Investigation

      The top governing body of the European Union Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) should urgently establish an independent inquiry into allegations of its involvement in unlawful operations to stop migrants from reaching the European Union (EU), Human Rights Watch said today.

      The agency’s board will hold an extraordinary meeting on November 10, 2020. Frontex should also address serious and persistent violations by border and law enforcement officers of the countries where it operates.

      “The fact that Frontex may have become complicit in abuses at Greece’s borders is extremely serious,” said Eva Cossé, Western Europe researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The Management Board of Frontex should quickly open an inquiry into Frontex involvement in – or actions to disregard or cover up – abuses against people seeking protection from conflicts and persecution.”

      On October 23, a group of media outlets published a detailed investigative report alleging Frontex involvement in pushback operations at the Greek-Turkish maritime border, in the Aegean Sea. The reports said that asylum seekers and migrants were prevented from reaching EU soil or were forced out of EU waters. Such pushbacks violate international law, Human Rights Watch said.

      EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson said on October 28 that she had asked, in coordination with Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, “to convene an urgent extraordinary Frontex Management Board meeting on 10 November, to discuss alleged push-back incidents in Greece and fundamental rights protection.”

      Frontex’s mandate obliges officers and the officers of member states deployed to respect fundamental rights, but the agency has been under heavy criticism for the shortcomings of its internal monitoring and accountability mechanisms. On October 27, Frontex announced an internal inquiry into the incidents reported by the media.

      In recent years, nongovernmental groups and media outlets have consistently reported the unlawful return, including through pushbacks, of groups and individuals from Greece to Turkey, by Greek law enforcement officers or unidentified masked men who appear to be working in tandem with border enforcement officials.

      Since Frontex deployed officers along the full length of the Turkey-Greece land border in March, Human Rights Watch has documented that Greek law enforcement officers routinely summarily returned asylum seekers and migrants through the land border with Turkey. Human Rights Watch found that officers in some cases used violence and often confiscated and destroyed migrants’ belongings.

      Greek authorities have said that police officers wearing dark blue uniforms work at police stations. Border patrol police officers wear military camouflage uniforms. Frontex guards wear their national uniforms, with a blue armband with the EU flag.

      In July, Human Rights Watch documented collective expulsions, through the Evros river land border, of asylum seekers rounded up from deep inside Greece.

      In a June 19 response to questions posed by Human Rights Watch, Frontex wrote that no abuses against migrants by Greek border guards or by police or border guards of other EU member states deployed under Frontex had been reported to Frontex. It said that Frontex does not have the authority to investigate allegations of abuse by EU member states’ police or border guards deployed in Greece. It said that such investigations are conducted by the competent national authorities.

      In June, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said it was deeply concerned about persistent reports of pushbacks and collective expulsions of migrants, in some cases violent, at Greece’s border with Turkey. In August, the UN Refugee Agency flagged concerns over the increasing number of credible reports of pushbacks at Greece’s land and sea borders.

      In May 2019, Frontex told Human Rights Watch that it had not detected any human rights violations or pushbacks during its operational presence at Croatia’s border with Bosnia and Herzegovina, despite consistent evidence of brutal pushbacks, reports from international and regional organizations, and the confirmation by Croatian officials that such abuses were taking place.

      Under the Frontex mandate, its executive director has the authority to, and should, withdraw financing, and suspend or terminate its activities if there are serious violations of fundamental rights related to its activities. The executive director is also expected to take into account information provided by relevant international organizations.

      On July 6, during a debate at the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) on fundamental rights at the Greek border, Johansson said that pushbacks by Greek border guards should be investigated. In its new Pact on Migration and Asylum, presented on September 23, the European Commission recommended to member states to set up an independent monitoring mechanism, amid increased allegations of abuse at the EU’s external borders.

      Members of the Frontex Management Board should set up an independent, prompt, effective, transparent, and impartial investigation into allegations that officers deployed by Frontex were involved in unlawful operations of pushbacks of asylum seekers. Any officer found to have engaged in such illegal acts, as well as their commanding officers and officials who have command responsibility over such forces, should be subject to disciplinary and criminal sanctions, as applicable.

      The investigation should also identify whether Frontex failed to report or otherwise address allegations of serious fundamental rights violations committed by law enforcement or border officers of the member state hosting operations.

      “An EU agency with a clear mandate to act in compliance with fundamental rights has the responsibility to do everything possible to prevent such severe violations,” Cossé said. “If Frontex not only turned a blind eye to abuses committed under its sight, or worse, directly took part in them, it becomes every EU member state’s responsibility.”

      https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/11/09/eu-probe-frontex-complicity-border-abuses

    • Frontex calls for committee to consider questions related to sea surveillance

      Today, Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri has called for the creation of an evaluation committee to consider legal questions related to the Agency’s surveillance of external sea borders and accommodating the concerns raised by Member States about “hybrid threats” affecting their national security at external borders where the European Border and Coast Guard Agency will deploy its standing corps.

      Under the Frontex proposal, the committee would be coordinated by the European Commission with the participation of Member States on a volunteer basis. It would address various questions, in particular those related to Regulation 2014/656 in the light of the current operational situation.

      Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri also expressed the Agency’s continued commitment to highest standards of protection of fundamental rights.

      “Any allegation of misconduct or infringement of international treaties or fundamental rights in the framework of joint operations coordinated by Frontex is treated with grave concern and carefully investigated,” said Fabrice Leggeri.

      “I am committed to reinforce the office of the Fundamental Rights Officer and to gradually increase its budget,” he added.

      Leggeri also proposed that the Frontex Fundamental Rights Officer to play a bigger role in raising awareness of the operational officers on the legal requirements that they need to apply on everyday basis in the field.

      “This could apply not only to the Frontex-deployed staff, but also to the staff of the International Coordination Centres, who often play an essential part in deciding to react to complicated events,” Leggeri said.

      https://frontex.europa.eu/media-centre/news-release/frontex-calls-for-committee-to-consider-questions-related-to-sea-surv

    • #Ombudsman opens inquiry to assess European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) ‘#Complaints_Mechanism’

      European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly has opened an inquiry to look into how the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) deals with alleged breaches of fundamental rights. In particular, the investigation will assess the effectiveness and transparency of Frontex’s Complaints Mechanism for those who believe their rights have been violated in the context of Frontex border operations, as well as the role and independence of Frontex’s ‘Fundamental Rights Officer’.

      In 2013, as part of a previous inquiry, the Ombudsman recommended that Frontex set up an individual complaints mechanism, and that its Fundamental Rights Officer be in charge of the mechanism. Since then, such a mechanism was put in place and further developed, with a view to providing safeguards for fundamental rights in the context of Frontex’s expanding mandate, as well as ensuring increased accountability and redress for those impacted by its actions.

      This inquiry focuses on whether the Complaints Mechanism and the Fundamental Rights Officer are truly empowered to deal with the issues faced by migrants and asylum seekers who feel their rights have been violated under Frontex operations.

      In opening the inquiry, the Ombudsman has sent a set of detailed questions to Frontex on the Complaints Mechanism and the Fundamental Rights Officer. She has also informed members of the European Network of Ombudsmen (ENO), with a view to their possible participation in the inquiry, as part of the ENO’s parallel work. This is important, given the role of national authorities in Frontex operations, and the fact that some national ombudsmen are responsible for following up on complaints related to this.

      Among other things, the questions set out by the Ombudsman look at: how and when Frontex will be updating the mechanism to reflect its expanded mandate; what happens to complainants who are faced with forced return while their complaint is still being processed; what appeal possibilities are open to complainants; how Frontex monitors complaints against national authorities; how those who have been affected by Frontex operations but are in non-EU countries can complain about alleged breaches of fundamental rights, including the issue of language; and the role of the Fundamental Rights Officer in this process.

      https://www.ombudsman.europa.eu/en/news-document/en/134739

    • Frontex: Cover-Up and Diversion. Outcomes of and Responses to the Frontex Management Board meeting on 10th November

      An extraordinary meeting took place on Tuesday 10th November, between the EU Commission and Frontex, regarding alleged Frontex involvement in illegal pushbacks in Greece.

      Why did the meeting take place?

      This meeting was called due to an overwhelming amount of evidence suggesting the involvement or complicity of Frontex in pushbacks. Reports by Spiegel, Report Mainz, Bellingcat and other international media, including Josoor and other members of the BVMN, had led to this meeting taking place. These investigations show Frontex involvement in at least six pushbacks through, for example, blocking boats and making waves to deter boats from getting any closer to the shore. According to Frontex insiders, mission reports were routinely altered into something more positive, excluding explicit mentions of pushbacks, before being sent to Frontex headquarters in Warsaw, Poland.

      We, at the Border Violence Monitoring Network, took advantage of the opportunity presented by the meeting on 10th November by sending a letter of concern to the Executive Director of Frontex and the FRO. This letter included evidence from testimonies, collected by BVMN partners, including Josoor, from people-on-the-move who claim that Frontex personnel were involved or complicit in pushbacks operations at the borders between Greek and Turkey, and Albania and Greece. The letter questioned Frontex’s knowledge and understanding of these allegations, and demanded an investigation into these claims. The letter was also addressed to the EU commissioner of Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, and her officer and we hoped this was presented as evidence at the management board meeting on 10th November

      What were the outcomes?

      Johansson remarked on twitter after the meeting:

      “Today’s @Frontex extraordinary management board was a good start to what I want to be a transparent process. The @EU_Commission has asked the Frontex Executive Director to reply to Qs ahead of the next scheduled board meeting (end November).”

      Leggeri, the Executive Director of Frontex, has been ordered by the EU Commission to answer questions concerning these accusations by the end of November. Frontex is yet to comment in detail on the allegations and reported incidents have been forwarded to the Greek coastguard, where also the Greek authorities have refused to comment and denied involvement. Both Frontex and the Greek authorities have launched internal investigations in response to these allegations. Unsurprisingly, after just 48 hours of their investigations, Frontex announced that they were innocent.

      The meeting also included a discussion on whether Frontex should withdraw from missions, such as the one in the Aegean Sea in the event of serious and persistent human rights violations. Such a directive can be found already in Frontex’s regulations. Officials of a few member states vetoed the application of this rule, and Greek representatives in particular were concerned that this could expose the Greek government.

      In the end, a compromise was met. A Frontex statement outlined that a ‘Commission of Inquiry’ will now be made to deal with legal questions concerning operations at sea borders. This will be coordinated by the EU Commission.

      “Any allegation of misconduct or violation of international agreements or fundamental rights within joint operations coordinated by Frontex will be treated with grave concern and investigated closely,” Leggeri said.

      Also, Frontex seeks to strengthen the role of the Fundamental Rights Officer, but experts agree that the internal mechanisms at Frontex are insufficient and therefore see this move as insufficient. As of yesterday, Frontex is advertising for the vacancy of the FRO.

      Members of EU Parliament reactions:

      Tineke Strik (from Netherlands, Green) commented, according to Spiegel, “The announcement did not mention the human rights violations at the border. A committee does not replace a truly independent and transparent investigation. Strik stated “Citizens need to know what has happened and how human rights violations are to be prevented in the future”

      Dietmar Köster (from Germany, SPD) stated, quoted from Tagesschau, "It is a unique cover-up attempt to divert attention from one’s own responsibility and failure to observe human rights”. Köster further stated that Leggeri’s statements showed the arrogance and ignorance of Frontex. “Basic and human rights apply to all. The European Border Management Agency is not exempt from their observance, it is not above the law.”

      An successful outcome: an independent inquiry:

      On the morning of Thursday 12th November, the European Ombudsman tweeted that they would open an inquiry into Frontex, assessing the effectiveness and transparency of their ‘Complaints Mechanism’ and the role and independence of the ‘Fundamental Rights Officer’ (FRO). The latter is especially important as the current ad interim FRO, Annegret Kohler, appointed in 2018, and re-appointed in September 2020, was selected from the Executive Director’s former cabinet, where she was an advisor to the Executive Director. This raises questions about independence and objectivity of the FRO and the FRO’s team to carry out their duties and avoid potential conflicts of interest. Josoor welcomes this investigation.

      https://www.josoor.net/post/frontex-cover-up-and-diversion

    • EU erhöht Druck auf Frontex-Chef

      Die EU-Grenzschutzagentur gerät durch Recherchen des ARD-Magazins Report Mainz und weiterer Medien in Bedrängnis. Heute musste die Frontex-Führung der EU-Kommission zum Thema illegale Pushbacks Rede und Antwort stehen.

      Die Europäische Kommission erwartet Antworten vom Frontex-Chef. Bis Ende November muss sich Fabrice Leggeri zur Verwicklung seiner Grenzschutzagentur in illegale Pushbacks von Flüchtlingen äußern. Das ist das Ergebnis einer Dringlichkeitssitzung des Frontex Management Boards. Das Treffen sei ein guter Anfang gewesen, sie wolle den Prozess transparent gestalten, twitterte die zuständige EU-Kommissarin Ylva Johansson. Leggeri solle bis zur nächsten Zusammenkunft des Management Boards auf die Fragen der Kommission antworten.
      Recherchen bringen Frontex in Bedrängnis

      Johansson hatte das Treffen einberufen, um über eine gemeinsame Recherche des ARD-Magazins Report Mainz, des „Spiegel“ und der Medienorganisationen Bellingcat, Lighthouse Reports und tv Asahi zu diskutieren. Die Medien hatten aufgedeckt, dass Frontex-Einheiten in der Ägäis in illegale Zurückweisungen von Flüchtlingen verwickelt sind.

      Seit April waren Frontex-Beamte nachweislich bei mindestens sechs sogenannten Pushbacks in der Nähe. Auf einem Video ist zu sehen, wie ein Frontex-Schiff ein überladenes Flüchtlingsboot zunächst blockiert, die Insassen aber nicht rettet. Stattdessen fahren die Frontex-Beamten mit hohem Tempo an dem Flüchtlingsboot vorbei und verlassen dann den Ort des Geschehens. Vertrauliche Gespräche mit Frontex-Beamten legten zudem nahe, dass diese ihre Berichte schönen, bevor sie an die Zentrale in Warschau geschickt werden.

      Keine Äußerung von Frontex und Griechenland

      Frontex ist auf die Vorwürfe bis heute nicht im Detail eingegangen. Alle gemeldeten Vorfälle seien an die griechische Küstenwache weitergeleitet worden, diese habe eine interne Untersuchung eingeleitet, teilte die Genzschutzagentur in einem Statement mit. Nach der Antwort der griechischen Behörden seien seine Zweifel ausgeräumt, sagte Leggeri zudem in einem Interview.

      Auch die griechischen Behörden hatten sich zu den Pushbacks nicht im Detail äußern wollen. Sie bestreiten die Vorwürfe pauschal, obwohl die ARD, der „Spiegel“ und andere Medien die Pushbacks mehrfach dokumentiert haben. Nach Angaben von Teilnehmern im „Spiegel“ sahen sich vor allem die griechischen Mitglieder des Management Boards bei dem Treffen Fragen ausgesetzt. Diskutiert wurde unter anderem ein Statement, welches betonen sollte, dass Frontex sich bei schwerwiegenden und anhaltenden Menschenrechtsverletzungen von Missionen wie der in der Ägäis zurückziehen muss.

      Griechen haben Angst vor Bloßstellung

      Ein solche Vorschrift findet sich schon jetzt in den Frontex-Regularien. Beamte einiger weniger Mitgliedsstaaten legten ihr Veto dagegen ein, dass die Anwendung dieser Regel nun in den Raum gestellt werden soll. Besonders die griechischen Teilnehmer fürchteten, dass das Statement die griechische Regierung bloßstellen könnte.

      Am Ende einigte man sich auf einen Kompromiss. Es soll ein Komitee geschaffen werden, das sich mit rechtlichen Fragen zu Einsätzen an der Seegrenzen beschäftigt, heißt es in einem Frontex-Statement. Die Kommission solle dem Vorschlag zufolge die Arbeit des Komitees koordinieren, Mitgliedsstaaten könnten sich auf freiwilliger Basis beteiligen. Im Komitee sollen auch die Sorgen einige Mitgliedsstaaten vor „hybriden Bedrohungen“ eine Rolle spielen. Vor allem Griechenland hatte immer wieder davor gewarnt, dass türkische Geheimdienste sich unter die Migranten auf den Inseln mischen könnten.

      Außerdem will Frontex nach eigener Aussage den sogenannten Fundamental Rights Officer stärken. Der Beamte ist bei Frontex dafür zuständig, dass die Grenzschützer die Grundrechte von Schutzsuchenden achten. Allerdings halten Beobachter alle bestehenden internen Überwachungsmechanismen bei Frontex für unzureichend.
      Kritik aus Europaparlament

      Nach den Enthüllungen der ARD und ihrer Recherchepartner hatten mehrere Europaparlamentarier von Leggeri eine vollständige Untersuchung der Vorwürfe gefordert. Die Grünen-EU-Abgeordnete Tineke Strik kritisierte das Frontex-Statement. Die Ankündigung erwähne die Menschenrechtsverletzungen an der Grenze nicht, sagte sie. Ein Komitee ersetze keine wirklich unabhängige und transparente Untersuchung. „Die Bürger müssen erfahren, was geschehen ist und wie Menschenrechtsverletzungen in Zukunft verhindert werden sollen“, so Strik.

      „Das Ganze ist eine große Nebelkerze“, sagte Europaparlamentarier Dietmar Köster von der SPD. „Es ist ein einzigartiger Vertuschungsversuch, von der eigenen Verantwortung und dem Versagen bei der Einhaltung von Menschenrechten abzulenken“,

      https://www.tagesschau.de/investigativ/report-mainz/frontex-pushbacks-103.html

    • EU-Grenzpolizei Frontex: Keine Untersuchung zu Verstößen gegen Menschenrechte

      Im März war die EU-Grenzpolizei Frontex in einen versuchten Verstoß gegen Menschenrechte verwickelt. Wie von uns veröffentlichte Akten zeigen, untersuchte Frontex den Vorfall aber nicht, sondern kehrte ihn unter den Teppich.

      Als ARD, Spiegel und Bellingcat vor drei Wochen aufdeckten, dass die Europäische Grenzpolizei Frontex an illegalen Pushbacks an EU-Grenzen beteiligt ist, versprach der Frontex-Direktor Fabrice Leggeri schnell Aufklärung. Die EU-Agentur werde die Vorwürfe untersuchen, nach denen Frontex Geflüchtete völkerrechtswidrig aus der EU abgeschoben hatte.

      „Jeder Vorwurf des Fehlverhaltens oder der Verletzung internationaler Verträge oder Grundrechte im Rahmen gemeinsamer Operationen, die von Frontex koordiniert werden, wird mit großer Besorgnis behandelt und sorgfältig untersucht.“

      Frontex-Direktor Fabrice Leggeri (Übersetzung von FragDenStaat)

      Ein interner E-Mail-Verlauf von Frontex, den wir per Informationsfreiheitsanfrage erhalten haben, zeigt jetzt jedoch, dass die EU-Agentur in vergleichbaren Fällen offenbar kein Interesse daran hat, Verstöße gegen Menschenrechte zu untersuchen. EU Observer hatte zunächst darüber berichtet.
      Dänemark widersetzt sich Frontex-Befehlen

      Bereits am 2. März diesen Jahres hatte Frontex in der Nähe der griechischen Insel Kos versucht, ein Boot mit 33 geflüchteten Menschen, die griechische Gewässer erreicht hatten, in die Türkei abzuschieben. Das griechische Frontex-Kommando befahl einem Schiff der Dänischen Marine mit dem Namen „Stela Polaris“, die Geflüchteten nicht an Land zu bringen, sondern wieder in ein Gummiboot zu setzen und aufs offene Meer Richtung Türkei zu schleppen. Der dänische Befehlshaber des Schiffes widersetzte sich dem rechtswidrigen Befehl jedoch und erreichte durch seine dänischen Vorgesetzten, dass er aufgehoben wurde.

      Frontex hatte den Vorgang bisher nie öffentlich zugegeben. Der dazugehörige E-Mail-Verkehr aus der Frontex-Zentrale in Warschau, den wir veröffentlichen, zeigt, dass Pushbacks die Entscheidungsträger um Direktor Fabrice Leggeri kaum interessierten. Erst aus der Presse erfuhr das Hauptquartier überhaupt davon, dass Frontex in einen versuchten Verstoß gegen die Menschenrechte verwickelt war.

      Einen Bericht – intern Serious Incident Report genannt – gab es trotz der Schwere des Vorfalls nicht. Die Frontex-Pressesprecherin forderte deswegen in Erwartung von Presseanfragen am Morgen des 6. März, vier Tage nach dem Vorfall, bei ihren Kolleg:innen einen Bericht zu den Vorfällen an. Am Nachmittag wurde sie informiert, dass es in der Tat einen versuchten Pushback gegeben hatte.

      Menschenrechte geprüft in vier Stunden

      Bemerkenswert ist, wie die Frontex-Zentrale anschließend mit den Informationen umging: Es schloss die Akten. Bereits vier Stunden nach der Meldung über Vorfall kamen die Frontex-Mitarbeiter:innen zu der Einschätzung, der versuchte Pushback sei ein „Einzelfall“. Er wurde noch nicht einmal beim täglichen Treffen der Befehlshabenden in der Frontex-Mission besprochen.

      Weitere Informationen zu dem Vorfall finden sich in den Akten laut Frontex nicht. Die Frontex-Mitarbeiter:innen überprüften nicht die Kommando-Strukturen und prüften nicht, warum es keinen internen Bericht zu dem rechtswidrigen Befehl gab. Sie unternahmen auch sonst keine Versuche, um sicherzustellen, dass Pushbacks durch das Frontex-Kommando nicht mehr vorkommen würden. Im Sommer schließlich gab Frontex-Direktor gegenüber dem Europäischen Parlament zu Protokoll, der versuchte Pushback sei ein „Missverständnis“ gewesen.

      Einige Monate später fanden Journalist:innen Beweise dafür, dass es sich offenbar nicht um einen Einzelfall handelt und Frontex mindestens im Juni an weiteren Pushbacks beteiligt war. Die EU-Agentur hatte offenbar kein Interesse daran, Verstöße gegen Menschenrechte zu unterbinden.

      https://fragdenstaat.de/blog/2020/11/18/frontex-pushbacks-denmark

    • Council of Europe’s anti-torture Committee calls on Greece to reform its immigration detention system and stop pushbacks

      In a report published today on a rapid reaction ad hoc visit to Greece in March 2020, the Council of Europe’s anti-torture committee (CPT) once again urges the Greek authorities to change their approach towards immigration detention and to ensure that migrants deprived of their liberty are treated both with dignity and humanity.

      The Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) has published today the report on its ad hoc visit to Greece, which took place from 13 to 17 March 2020, together with the response of the Greek authorities.

      In the report, the CPT acknowledges the significant challenges faced by the Greek authorities in dealing with large numbers of migrants entering the country and that it requires a coordinated European approach. However, this cannot absolve the the Hellenic Republic from their human rights obligations and the duty of care owed to all migrants that the Greek authorities detain.

      The CPT found that the conditions of detention in which migrants were held in certain facilities in the Evros region and on the island of Samos could amount to inhuman and degrading treatment. The report again underlines the structural deficiencies in Greece’s immigration detention policy. Migrants continue to be held in detention centres composed of large barred cells crammed with beds, with poor lighting and ventilation, dilapidated and broken toilets and washrooms, insufficient personal hygiene products and cleaning materials, inadequate food and no access to outdoor daily exercise. Extreme overcrowding in several of the facilities further aggravated the situation. In addition, migrants were not provided with clear information about their situation.

      The CPT once again found that families with children, unaccompanied and separated children and other vulnerable persons (with a physical or mental health illness, or pregnant women) were being detained in such appalling conditions with no appropriate support. The CPT calls upon the Greek authorities to end the detention of unaccompanied children and of children with their parents in police establishments. Instead, they should be transferred to suitable reception facilities catering to their specific needs.

      The report also highlights that the CPT again received consistent and credible allegations of migrants being pushed back across the Evros River border to Turkey. The Greek authorities should act to prevent such pushbacks. The CPT furthermore raises concerns over acts by the Greek Coast Guard to prevent boats carrying migrants from reaching any Greek island and it questions the role and engagement of FRONTEX in such operations.

      The CPT calls upon the Greek authorities to take vigorous steps to stamp out ill-treatment of detained migrants by the police. The report refers to a number of allegations by migrants that they had been ill treated by members of the Hellenic Police and/or Coast Guard either upon apprehension or after being brought to a place of detention. The ill treatment alleged consisted primarily of slaps to the head and kicks and truncheon blows to the body.

      In their response, the Hellenic Police provide information on the steps being taken to improve the conditions of detention for detained migrants. They also state that the alleged practice of pushbacks to the border is unsubstantiated and completely wrong. As regards unaccompanied minors, reference is made to a new strategy to end their detention and to their transfer from reception centres on the islands to safe accommodation facilities on the mainland.

      https://search.coe.int/directorate_of_communications/Pages/result_details.aspx?ObjectId=0900001680a06bcf

    • Annex to the reply of Fabrice Leggeri to the LIBE Committee

      https://www.tinekestrik.eu/sites/default/files/2020-11/Answers%20to%20the%20questions%20from%20the%20LIBE%20Commitee.pdf

      –---

      Thread sur twitter:

      It looks like Frontex are NOT denying that they may be involved in #pushbacks after all. FL partly evades (’...always committed...’) and partly seems to blame the ’uniqueness’ of operational areas & ’complex geography’ of the Greek and Turkish border for FX being involved in pushbacks.

      –---

      The earlier letter sent to the EP President might offer some clues. I’m not a legal expert, but FL seems to suggest that Art. 6 of Reg. 656/2014 (on interception at sea) needs to be clarified so as to define what constitutes a #pushback. Interesting.
      https://www.tinekestrik.eu/sites/default/files/2020-11/Letter%20to%20EP_Frontex%20maritime%20operations%20at%20EU%20external%20

      –—

      Yet not all pushbacks happen at sea. While the request for interpretation above might mean that FX is looking for a way out re: #pushbacks at the Aegean, what about those at the
      Greek-Turkish land border? I think there’s less concern with #pushbacks at #Evros, though. No videos...

      –---

      Back to the Annex: We know SIRs weren’t submitted as they should. The real question is why. It might be down to officers on the ground lacking in training (they shouldn’t, but...) or not wanting to get their colleagues in trouble (the spirit of camaraderie...).

      –---

      BUT: Today’s Spiegel article refers to a ’Frontex official in charge’ advising a Swedish officer not to submit a SIR. FX management were aware few SIRs being submitted for years. Is it a practice dictated from the top? To avoid having evidence of violations?

      https://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/pushbacks-in-der-aegaeis-wie-frontex-menschenrechtsverletzungen-vertuscht-a-

      –—

      Suspension/non-launch of operations has never happened. The ED didn’t take into account reports by NGOs or human rights bodies when considering the 2016 recommendation to suspend operations in Hungary. He relied on the very low number of SIRs to reject it.
      https://respondmigration.com/wp-blog/fundamental-rights-accountability-transparency-european-governance

      –—

      Same with the 2019 & 2020 recommendations of the FRO to consider suspension of operations in #Evros. As for taking into account media reports ... well, I’d say the reply to the LIBE committee reads like the media accounts are being dismissed.

      https://twitter.com/lk2015r/status/1331662031095787521

    • E.U. Border Agency Accused of Covering Up Migrant Pushback in Greece

      Frontex is under fire for letting Greece illegally repel migrants as the agency expands to play a more central role at the bloc’s external borders.

      Mounting evidence indicates that the European Union’s border agency has been complicit in Greece’s illegal practice of pushing back migrants to Turkey, according to documents obtained by The New York Times and interviews with officials.

      In at least one case, Frontex, as the E.U. border agency is known, is accused of having helped cover up the violations, when a crew said it was discouraged by agency officials from reporting that they had seen the Greek authorities setting a boatload of migrants adrift in Turkish waters.

      The case is currently being investigated by Frontex. But it has fueled suspicions that the agency, newly boosted in its role as upholder of the rule of law at E.U. borders, is not just sporadically aware of such abuses, but that it plays a role in concealing them.

      “We are seeing an erosion of the rule of law at the E.U. borders which is willful,” said Gerald Knaus, a migration expert. “This is deeply worrying because it is eroding the refugee convention on the continent on which it was created.”

      Throughout this year, The New York Times and others have reported on growing operations by the Greek Coast Guard to repel migrants from Greek waters back to Turkey, reports the Greek authorities deny amount to breaches of international laws.

      But revelations that Frontex has witnessed pushbacks have thrown the agency into a governance crisis that threatens to further blight the European Union’s liberal values, once again calling into question the bloc’s commitment to upholding its own laws on refugees.

      The cases have also highlighted a conundrum at the core of E.U. ambitions to tighten external borders by pooling resources and involving the bloc in the sensitive, zealously shielded work of sovereign border guards.

      Frontex is the European Union’s best-funded agency, with a budget of over $500 million, and will soon deploy the first uniformed officers in the bloc’s history. It has been built up specifically to help in migrant-rescue operations as the burden of policing Europe’s borders has fallen most heavily on its peripheral states, like Greece.

      It was also intended as a deterrent to the kind of mass arrival of refugees that sowed political crises across Europe after 2015, and fanned nationalist and populist movements.

      Yet Frontex is not empowered to stop national border guards from committing violations, and it is not clear how it can play a role as standard-bearer of E.U. laws when informing on national forces risks the working relationships on which its operations depend.

      Refugee arrivals to the European Union peaked five years ago and have dropped drastically since, but thousands of asylum seekers, many fleeing the wars in Afghanistan and Syria, still attempt the crossing. Unlike in the past, Greeks and their government have turned hostile to the new arrivals, exhausted by years in which asylum seekers have been bottled up in overrun camps on Greek islands.

      There is also a growing belief in the Greek and several other European governments that aggression at the borders and poor conditions at migrant camps will make the attempt to reach Europe less attractive for asylum seekers.

      Earlier this year, an analysis by The Times showed that the Greek government had secretly expelled more than 1,000 asylum seekers, often by sailing them to the edge of Greek territorial waters and abandoning them in flimsy inflatable life rafts in violation of international laws.

      The Greek Coast Guard has rescued thousands of asylum seekers over the years but has become much more aggressive this year, especially as Turkey used migrants to provoke Greece by encouraging them to cross the border.

      The Greek government has denied it is doing anything illegal in repelling migrant boats from its national waters, characterizing the operations as robust border guarding. But Mr. Knaus said “the denials are not serious,” and the practices are effectively happening in the open — under the eyes of E.U. border patrols.

      The documents obtained by The Times describe, in Coast Guard vernacular littered with acronyms, codes, time-stamps and coordinates, a seemingly incessant Ping-Pong of migrant dinghies between Greek and Turkish waters, with Frontex crews on vessels or aircraft in observer status.

      Four officials with direct knowledge of Frontex operations said that agency officials have been discouraging crews from filing reports on pushback incidents, and, in some cases, have stopped initial alerts of violations from being filed as “serious incident reports,” at times after consulting with the Greek authorities.

      They all spoke on condition of anonymity because they were concerned about losing their jobs, or were not authorized to brief the press.

      The Frontex spokesman, Chris Borowski, said the agency took the reporting of violations very seriously. “Pushbacks are illegal under international law,” Mr. Borowski said.

      In the latest case to come to light, a Swedish Coast Guard crew on deployment under Frontex witnessed a pushback to Turkish waters of a boat full of migrants by the Greek authorities on Oct. 30 off the Greek island of Chios.

      The Swedish crew was later advised by a Frontex officer to not report it, documents reviewed by The Times show. The Swedish representative to the management board of Frontex described the incident, and the suppression of the attempt to report it, at a meeting on Nov. 10 — the first known case of an E.U. member state reporting active interference by Frontex officials.

      The Swedish government did not comment. A spokesman for Frontex said the agency wouldn’t comment because of an “ongoing procedure.”

      Frontex has been working in Greece for more than a decade, providing sea, land and aerial surveillance and rescue capabilities and deploying crews from other member states under its command.

      The details now emerging push the agency deeper into a governance crisis which began in October when a consortium of news organizations, including the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel, reported a number of occasions when Frontex crews witnessed pushbacks in Greece.

      The European Commission, which is part of the Frontex oversight system but does not control the agency, pushed for a special inquiry into these allegations and, at an emergency agency board meeting on Nov. 10, asked its leadership to answer detailed questions in writing.

      The answers arrived with a four-day delay, just 15 hours before the start of another meeting to discuss the problems on Wednesday. Yet another emergency meeting has been called in December, mounting pressure on the agency.

      Frontex has promised internal investigations but also quickly dismissed allegations, saying for example, in a letter seen by The Times, that it would look into the Swedish case, but that it had so far found no evidence that it happened.

      How these investigations shake out will matter a great deal for the future of Frontex, which was once little more than a back-office operation in Warsaw but now finds itself on the front lines of the nettlesome issue of migration that has the potency to make or break governments.

      Apart from helping member states with asylum-seeker arrivals, Frontex’s role as an E.U. agency by law is to respect fundamental rights, and bring up human-rights standards across national E.U. border agencies, which often don’t have a strong culture of upholding them.

      But claims that Frontex does not take fundamental rights seriously enough are growing. This year, only one million euros in its budget of 460 million euros — about $548 million — was allocated to rights monitoring.

      The agency was supposed to hire 40 fundamental-rights officers by Dec. 5 but the jobs have not yet been advertised. The agency is currently hiring for their boss, after years of staffing issues around that position. A Frontex spokesman said the delays stemmed from the coronavirus pandemic.

      Documents seen by The Times laid out how in one episode the Greek authorities were consulted before a report was made, and were able to suppress it. On Aug. 10, a German crew deployed by Frontex reported that a Greek Coast Guard vessel “took up border control measures prohibiting the landing to Samos.”

      The expression refers to maneuvering and making waves around a dinghy to repel it. The event was not recorded as a “serious incident,” because, the document said, the Greek Coast Guard argued the activities “do not provide any ground” to initiate such a report.

      Another incident, which a Frontex aerial crew observed and reported in detail to its headquarters, took place on the evening of April 18 to 19 off the coast of Lesbos, and lasted more than five hours.

      A dinghy was detected by the Greek authorities and approximately 20 migrants were rescued and put on board a Greek Coast Guard vessel shortly after midnight, their empty dinghy towed by the Coast Guard toward the island.

      But instead of being taken to shore, at 2:45 a.m., the migrants were put back on their dinghy and tugged to Turkish waters by the Greek Coast Guard, the Frontex aerial crew reported.

      As events unfolded, the Greek command center twice asked the Frontex aircraft to change its flight path, directing it away from the incident.

      “At 03:21 Frontex Surveillance Aircraft communicates that the rubber boat has no engine and it is adrift. Greek assets are departing the area leaving the rubber boat adrift,” the document said.

      The internal Frontex report detailing this incident and categorizing it as a fundamental-rights violation was “dismissed,” the document shows.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/26/world/europe/frontex-migrants-pushback-greece.html

    • La Grèce fortement soupçonnée de refouler les migrants

      L’agence européenne Frontex, potentiellement impliquée dans les refoulements, mène une enquête interne et doit fournir des explications à la Commission européenne fin novembre. Une plainte a été déposée le 17 novembre auprès du comité des droits de l’homme de l’ONU.

      L’étau se resserre autour de la Grèce, de plus en plus fréquemment accusée de refouler les migrants vers la Turquie, aussi bien en mer qu’à terre. Le soupçon n’est pas nouveau, comme l’atteste le terrible récit de Fadi Faj. Ce jeune Syrien de 25 ans est arrivé en 2015 avec l’immense vague de demandeurs d’asile en Allemagne. Berlin lui octroie alors le statut de réfugié et un permis de séjour avec lequel il se rend en Grèce en novembre 2016, à la recherche de son jeune frère de 11 ans dont il a perdu la trace lors de sa traversée de la frontière greco-turque à Evros.

      Fadi Faj est alors arrêté par la police grecque qui lui confisque ses papiers et l’expulse vers la Turquie avec une cinquantaine d’autres demandeurs d’asile. Devenu un sans-papier, il sera à treize reprises repoussé de part et d’autre de la frontière par les forces grecques ou turques. Ayant enfin mis un pied à terre en Grèce en décembre 2017, il y vivra encore deux ans dans le dénuement avant d’obtenir un visa pour regagner l’Allemagne qui lui délivrera un nouveau permis de séjour en mai 2020.

      Une plainte auprès du Comité des droits de l’homme de l’ONU

      Ce récit glaçant fait l’objet d’une plainte à l’encontre de la Grèce déposée le 17 novembre auprès du Comité des droits de l’homme de l’ONU, par le Global Legal Action Network (Réseau mondial d’action juridique) basé en Irlande et l’ONG grecque HumanRights 360.

      Entre-temps, les cas du même type se sont multipliés. Surtout depuis le printemps dernier, après que le président turc Erdogan a menacé d’ouvrir les frontières et incité les migrants à se diriger vers la Grèce. « J’ai vu de mes yeux vu deux refoulements en mer depuis ma maison sur la côte nord de Lesbos », dénonce ainsi Christina Chatzidaki, une habitante de l’île qui jouxte les côtes turques, et y dirige l’association Siniparxi (Coexistence).

      Alarm phone qui reçoit les appels de détresse des embarcations en mer se déclarait en mai dernier « très préoccupé par la récente augmentation des rapports d’attaques sur les bateaux de migrants ». L’ONG avait alors engrangé les témoignages de survivants de 18 bateaux. « Ils ont fait état d’actions dangereuses, telles que le fait de tourner autour de leurs bateaux et de provoquer des vagues, des menaces avec des armes à feu, le vol de leur essence, la destruction de moteurs et, également, le remorquage de bateaux vers les eaux turques où ils ont été laissés à la dérive », précise l’ONG.
      Intimer la Commission d’agir

      Les dénonciations de pratiques qui violent les droits humains, et contreviennent au droit de la mer et au droit européen n’ont pas cessé par la suite. Le porte-parole du Haut-Commissariat aux réfugiés (HCR) déclarait le 12 juin dernier : « le HCR a continuellement fait état de ses préoccupations auprès du gouvernement grec et a demandé des enquêtes urgentes sur une série d’incidents présumés ». Il soulignait alors la corrélation entre la forte baisse du nombre d’arrivées de migrants en Grèce et l’augmentation du nombre de refoulements signalés. En 2019, 60 000 personnes avaient débarqué en Grèce par la mer et 15 000 par la terre. En 2020, jusqu’au 22 novembre, ils ne sont plus, respectivement, que 9 400 et 5 400.

      Jusqu’à présent la Grèce a nié ces allégations. « Nous protégeons nos frontières en accord avec les lois internationales et européennes » a encore affirmé le ministre grec de l’immigration Notis Mitarakis le 13 novembre dernier au site Infomigrants. Deux mois auparavant, le 22 septembre, les ONG Oxfam et WeMove adressaient une plainte auprès de la Commission européenne pour l’intimer de mener « une enquête sur les violations systématiques du droit européen concernant le traitement des demandeurs d’asile en Grèce ».
      La possible implication de Frontex

      Enfin, le site d’investigation Bellingcat et le magazine allemand Der Spiegel apportèrent en octobre un coup de grâce supplémentaire, en dénonçant, images à l’appui, le laisser-faire, voire l’implication, de l’agence européenne de surveillance aux frontières Frontex - qui a déployé plus de 600 agents en Grèce - dans six cas documentés de pratique illégale de refoulement.

      Un soupçon repris par le comité contre la torture du Conseil de l’Europe. Dans son rapport publié le 19 novembre, le comité a indiqué « avoir de nouveau reçu des allégations cohérentes et crédibles de migrants repoussés vers la Turquie ».

      Il s’est déclaré « inquiet des actes commis par les garde-côtes grecs pour empêcher les bateaux transportant des migrants d’atteindre les îles grecques » et « s’interroge sur le rôle et l’implication de Frontex dans de telles opérations ».

      Face à une telle avalanche, l’Union européenne pouvait difficilement continuer à se voiler la face. La suédoise Ylva Johansson, commissaire européenne aux affaires intérieures a réclamé des explications pour fin novembre à l’agence Frontex, laquelle a indiqué avoir ouvert une enquête interne.

      https://www.la-croix.com/Monde/Grece-fortement-soupconnee-refouler-migrants-2020-11-24-1201126401

    • Refoulements de demandeurs d’asile : le directeur de Frontex interrogé par les députés

      La supposée implication d’agents de Frontex dans les refoulements de demandeurs d’asile à la frontière grecque sera au cœur du débat en commission des libertés civiles mardi.

      Les députés seront en attente de réponses de la part du directeur exécutif de l’Agence européenne de garde-frontières et de garde-côtes, Fabrice Leggeri, concernant les incidents révélés récemment par les médias au cours desquels des garde-côtes grecs (avec la connaissance présumée et même l’implication d’agents de Frontex) ont arrêté des migrants qui tentaient d’atteindre les côtes de l’UE et les ont renvoyés dans les eaux turques. Les députés devraient s’enquérir des résultats de l’enquête interne menée par l’Agence européenne de gestion des frontières et de la réunion du conseil d’administration convoquée à la demande de la Commission européenne.

      En octobre dernier, avant les révélations des médias, le forum consultatif de Frontex (qui réunit notamment des représentants du Bureau européen d’appui en matière d’asile (EASO), de l’Agence des droits fondamentaux de l’UE (FRA), du HCR, du Conseil de l’Europe et de l’OIM) avait exprimé son inquiétude dans son rapport annuel. Le forum pointait du doigt l’absence de véritable système de contrôle permettant de prévenir et de traiter les violations potentielles des droits fondamentaux dans les activités de l’Agence.

      Le 6 juillet, au cours d’une précédente réunion de la commission des libertés civiles, Fabrice Leggeri avait assuré aux eurodéputés que Frontex n’était pas impliquée dans les refoulements et avait qualifié l’incident avec l’équipe danoise à bord de l’un des navires de l’Agence de ‘‘malentendu’’.

      DATE : mardi 1er décembre de 13h50 à 14h45

      LIEU : Parlement européen à Bruxelles, bâtiment Antall, salle 4Q2 et à distance

      https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/fr/press-room/20201126IPR92509

    • EU border chief urged to quit over migrant pushback claims

      European Union lawmakers lashed out Tuesday at the head of Frontex over allegations that the border and coast guard agency helped illegally stop migrants or refugees entering Europe, calling for his resignation and demanding an independent inquiry.

      The lawmakers grilled Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri over an investigation in October by media outlets Bellingcat, Lighthouse Reports, Der Spiegel, ARD and TV Asahi, which said that video and other publicly available data suggest Frontex “assets were actively involved in one pushback incident at the Greek-Turkish maritime border in the Aegean Sea.”

      The report said personnel from the agency, which monitors and polices migrant movements around Europe’s borders, were present at another incident and “have been in the vicinity of four more since March.” Frontex launched an internal probe after the news broke.

      “In his handling of these allegations, Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri has completely lost our trust and it is time for him to resign,” senior Socialist lawmaker Kati Piri said in a statement after the parliamentary civil liberties committee hearing. “There are still far too many unanswered questions on the involvement of Frontex in illegal practices.”

      Pushbacks are considered contrary to international refugee protection agreements, which say people shouldn’t be expelled or returned to a country where their life and safety might be in danger due to their race, religion, nationality or being members of a social or political group.

      Frontex’s board met to discuss the allegations late last month. The board said afterwards that the European Commission had ordered it to “hold a further extraordinary meeting within the next two weeks in order to consider in more detail the replies provided by the agency.” That meeting is scheduled to take place on Dec. 9.

      “Migrants and refugees are very vulnerable to pushbacks by border guards,” Greens lawmaker Tineke Strik said. “We must be able to rely on an EU agency which prevents human rights violations from happening and not inflict them. But Frontex seems to be a partner in crime of those who deliberately violate those human rights.”

      Strik raised doubts about whether the internal Frontex probe would produce results and urged the assembly’s political groups to consider launching their own inquiry.

      Leggeri said that no evidence of any Frontex involvement in pushbacks had been found so far. He said EU member countries have control over operations in their waters, not Frontex, and he called for the rules governing surveillance of Europe’s external borders to be clarified.

      “We have not found evidence that there were active, direct or indirect participation of Frontex staff or officers deployed by Frontex in pushbacks,” he told the lawmakers. When it comes to operations, Leggeri said, “only the host member state authorities can decide what has to be done.”

      Leggeri also said that Frontex staff were under extreme pressure around the time of the alleged incidents in March and April. He said that Turkish F-16 fighter jets had “surrounded” a Danish plane working for Frontex, while vessels were harassed by the Turkish coast guard and shots fired at personnel at land borders.

      He called for EU “guidance” on how to handle such situations.

      The allegations are extremely embarrassing for the European Commission. In September it unveiled sweeping new reforms to the EU’s asylum system, which proved dismally inadequate when over 1 million migrants arrived in 2015, many of them Syrian refugees entering the Greek islands via Turkey.

      Part of the EU’s migration reforms includes a system of independent monitoring involving rights experts to ensure that there are no pushbacks at Europe’s borders. Migrant entries have dropped to a relative trickle in recent years, although many migrants still languish on some Greek islands waiting for their asylum claims to be processed or to be sent back.

      EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson told The Associated Press on Tuesday that she still has confidence in Frontex’s managing board but remains deeply concerned about the allegations.

      During a visit to Morocco, Johansson said that the report “concerns me a lot. If it’s true, it’s totally unacceptable. A European agency has to comply to EU law and fundamental rights with no excuse.”

      Johansson said she has “full confidence in the process that (has) gone on in the management board and the sub-group they are setting up” to continue the investigation, but, she noted that “there were a lot of questions put to the director. And he has not answered these questions.”

      https://www.ekathimerini.com/259789/article/ekathimerini/news/eu-border-chief-urged-to-quit-over-migrant-pushback-claims

    • Frontex is taking us to court

      The EU border police Frontex is under fire for its involvement in human rights violations at the EU’s borders. Now, they want to silence those exposing their wrongdoing.

      For many years, we have been fighting to make Frontex, the EU’s border police, more transparent and accountable. We have made public over a thousand of their documents, including those that show the agency has been complicit in human rights violations and violence against migrants at the EU’s borders.

      Frontex is currently under fire for its involvement in illegal pushbacks in the Aegean and for having concealed evidence about these illegal acts. Confronted with such serious accusations, the EU border agency has now chosen to go after those who investigate them: they are taking us to court.

      Frontex has filed a case against us before the General Court of the European Union in order to force us to pay them a large amount of money. Last year, we lost our lawsuit for information about Frontex and now, the agency is demanding from us excessive legal fees. The message is clear: they want to make sure that we never take them to court again.
      Details must remain secret

      For the time being, we will not be able to disclose further details related to the case due to the court’s rules on keeping all information secret while proceedings are ongoing. Back in January, the agency justified their excessive legal fees on their decision to hire expensive private lawyers.

      Frontex, which has a billion-euro budget, making it the best resourced EU agency, employs a well-staffed internal legal department. Both the decision to hire private lawyers and to then claim these costs from civil society are highly unusual in court cases against the EU authorities.
      What happens if Frontex wins?

      If Frontex succeeds, in the future only corporations and the rich will be able to afford legal action against EU authorities. Activists, journalists, NGOs and individuals will not be able to defend human rights before the EU court. Frontex bringing a case like this directly against civil society, let alone winning, discourages others from holding them accountable in the future. It’s this chilling effect that we believe they’re hoping for.

      In the spring, more than 87,000 people petitioned Frontex to withdraw their legal bill. 44 civil society organizations also called on Frontex to retract its demand. Frontex has nonetheless chosen to ignore their voices.

      In recent years, Frontex has experienced an enormous increase of power and resources. Not only is it about to receive € 11 billion under the next EU budget, but it can also now hire its own border guards and buy its own equipment, including aircrafts, ships, drones and weapons.

      Investigating Frontex and holding it accountable is now more important than ever. As recent publications have revealed, the EU border force has been involved in numerous human rights violations at the EU borders.
      What you can do

      Our freedom of information work is financed by individual donations. We will fight in court for a judgement that gives Frontex as little money as possible. If you want to support us in this, we would be very happy to receive a donation. We will use every extra euro for new investigations and legal action against Frontex.

      https://fragdenstaat.de/en/blog/2020/12/02/frontex-costs-court-transparency

    • S&Ds call for Frontex Director to resign

      The S&D Group in the European Parliament today called for the Executive Director of Frontex to resign following months of allegations on the agency’s involvement in illegal practices and violations of fundamental rights.

      In today’s hearing of the civil liberties, justice and home affairs committee (LIBE), Director Fabrice Leggeri failed to answer questions relating to the agency’s involvement in pushbacks at the EU’s external borders aimed at preventing asylum-seekers from entering the EU.

      Following the hearing, S&D MEPs concluded Mr Leggeri’s position at the head of Frontex is not sustainable, especially in light of the important role for Frontex in the new Pact on Migration and Asylum.

      Kati Piri, S&D vice-president for migration and LIBE member taking part in the hearing, said

      “In his handling of these allegations, Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri has completely lost our trust and it is time for him to resign. After months of the S&D Group calling for explanations, Director Leggeri had the chance to set the record straight. But there are still far too many unanswered questions on the involvement of Frontex in illegal practices.

      “Pushbacks are a violation of international law and every single incident must be fully investigated. Do we have the confidence in Frontex to ensure alleged incidents are properly investigated? After today, the answer is no.

      “As long as allegations hang over Frontex, its reputation remains severely damaged and in desperate need of repair. In our view, Director Leggeri is not the right person to fix the damage.”

      Birgit Sippel, S&D LIBE coordinator, added:

      “We have to ask ourselves how we got to the point where we have to rely on journalists and whistle-blowers in Frontex to inform us of instances of fundamental and human rights violations at our borders. This is unacceptable and deeply disturbing, in particular when considering the potentially increased role of Frontex as part of the New Pact on Migration and Asylum.

      “The series of alleged pushbacks and cover-ups from Frontex show that we need a strong and independent border monitoring mechanism to investigate any and all alleged violations of fundamental and human rights and international laws at European borders.

      “Under the 2019 Frontex mandate, the Agency was obliged to have recruited at least 40 Fundamental Rights Monitors by 5 December 2020. It is now clear that Frontex will not even have come close to fulfilling this task, and therefore will not comply with the new mandate. Blaming bureaucratic hurdles for the delay of such an important task is insufficient, while the Commission’s role in this delay requires further examination as well. Mr Leggeri has failed in many of his responsibilities and must bear the consequences of his actions.”

      https://www.socialistsanddemocrats.eu/newsroom/sds-call-frontex-director-resign

    • E.U. Border Agency Accused of Covering Up Migrant Pushback in Greece

      Frontex is under fire for letting Greece illegally repel migrants as the agency expands to play a more central role at the bloc’s external borders.

      Mounting evidence indicates that the European Union’s border agency has been complicit in Greece’s illegal practice of pushing back migrants to Turkey, according to documents obtained by The New York Times and interviews with officials.

      In at least one case, Frontex, as the E.U. border agency is known, is accused of having helped cover up the violations, when a crew said it was discouraged by agency officials from reporting that they had seen the Greek authorities setting a boatload of migrants adrift in Turkish waters.

      The case is currently being investigated by Frontex. But it has fueled suspicions that the agency, newly boosted in its role as upholder of the rule of law at E.U. borders, is not just sporadically aware of such abuses, but that it plays a role in concealing them.

      “We are seeing an erosion of the rule of law at the E.U. borders which is willful,” said Gerald Knaus, a migration expert. “This is deeply worrying because it is eroding the refugee convention on the continent on which it was created.”

      Throughout this year, The New York Times and others have reported on growing operations by the Greek Coast Guard to repel migrants from Greek waters back to Turkey, reports the Greek authorities deny amount to breaches of international laws.

      But revelations that Frontex has witnessed pushbacks have thrown the agency into a governance crisis that threatens to further blight the European Union’s liberal values, once again calling into question the bloc’s commitment to upholding its own laws on refugees.

      The cases have also highlighted a conundrum at the core of E.U. ambitions to tighten external borders by pooling resources and involving the bloc in the sensitive, zealously shielded work of sovereign border guards.

      Frontex is the European Union’s best-funded agency, with a budget of over $500 million, and will soon deploy the first uniformed officers in the bloc’s history. It has been built up specifically to help in migrant-rescue operations as the burden of policing Europe’s borders has fallen most heavily on its peripheral states, like Greece.

      It was also intended as a deterrent to the kind of mass arrival of refugees that sowed political crises across Europe after 2015, and fanned nationalist and populist movements.

      Yet Frontex is not empowered to stop national border guards from committing violations, and it is not clear how it can play a role as standard-bearer of E.U. laws when informing on national forces risks the working relationships on which its operations depend.

      Refugee arrivals to the European Union peaked five years ago and have dropped drastically since, but thousands of asylum seekers, many fleeing the wars in Afghanistan and Syria, still attempt the crossing. Unlike in the past, Greeks and their government have turned hostile to the new arrivals, exhausted by years in which asylum seekers have been bottled up in overrun camps on Greek islands.

      There is also a growing belief in the Greek and several other European governments that aggression at the borders and poor conditions at migrant camps will make the attempt to reach Europe less attractive for asylum seekers.

      Earlier this year, an analysis by The Times showed that the Greek government had secretly expelled more than 1,000 asylum seekers, often by sailing them to the edge of Greek territorial waters and abandoning them in flimsy inflatable life rafts in violation of international laws.

      The Greek Coast Guard has rescued thousands of asylum seekers over the years but has become much more aggressive this year, especially as Turkey used migrants to provoke Greece by encouraging them to cross the border.

      The Greek government has denied it is doing anything illegal in repelling migrant boats from its national waters, characterizing the operations as robust border guarding. But Mr. Knaus said “the denials are not serious,” and the practices are effectively happening in the open — under the eyes of E.U. border patrols.

      The documents obtained by The Times describe, in Coast Guard vernacular littered with acronyms, codes, time-stamps and coordinates, a seemingly incessant Ping-Pong of migrant dinghies between Greek and Turkish waters, with Frontex crews on vessels or aircraft in observer status.

      Four officials with direct knowledge of Frontex operations said that agency officials have been discouraging crews from filing reports on pushback incidents, and, in some cases, have stopped initial alerts of violations from being filed as “serious incident reports,” at times after consulting with the Greek authorities.

      They all spoke on condition of anonymity because they were concerned about losing their jobs, or were not authorized to brief the press.

      The Frontex spokesman, Chris Borowski, said the agency took the reporting of violations very seriously. “Pushbacks are illegal under international law,” Mr. Borowski said.

      In the latest case to come to light, a Swedish Coast Guard crew on deployment under Frontex witnessed a pushback to Turkish waters of a boat full of migrants by the Greek authorities on Oct. 30 off the Greek island of Chios.

      The Swedish crew was later advised by a Frontex officer to not report it, documents reviewed by The Times show. The Swedish representative to the management board of Frontex described the incident, and the suppression of the attempt to report it, at a meeting on Nov. 10 — the first known case of an E.U. member state reporting active interference by Frontex officials.

      The Swedish government did not comment. A spokesman for Frontex said the agency wouldn’t comment because of an “ongoing procedure.”

      Frontex has been working in Greece for more than a decade, providing sea, land and aerial surveillance and rescue capabilities and deploying crews from other member states under its command.

      The details now emerging push the agency deeper into a governance crisis which began in October when a consortium of news organizations, including the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel, reported a number of occasions when Frontex crews witnessed pushbacks in Greece.

      The European Commission, which is part of the Frontex oversight system but does not control the agency, pushed for a special inquiry into these allegations and, at an emergency agency board meeting on Nov. 10, asked its leadership to answer detailed questions in writing.

      The answers arrived with a four-day delay, just 15 hours before the start of another meeting to discuss the problems on Wednesday. Yet another emergency meeting has been called in December, mounting pressure on the agency.

      Frontex has promised internal investigations but also quickly dismissed allegations, saying for example, in a letter seen by The Times, that it would look into the Swedish case, but that it had so far found no evidence that it happened.

      How these investigations shake out will matter a great deal for the future of Frontex, which was once little more than a back-office operation in Warsaw but now finds itself on the front lines of the nettlesome issue of migration that has the potency to make or break governments.

      Apart from helping member states with asylum-seeker arrivals, Frontex’s role as an E.U. agency by law is to respect fundamental rights, and bring up human-rights standards across national E.U. border agencies, which often don’t have a strong culture of upholding them.

      But claims that Frontex does not take fundamental rights seriously enough are growing. This year, only one million euros in its budget of 460 million euros — about $548 million — was allocated to rights monitoring.

      The agency was supposed to hire 40 fundamental-rights officers by Dec. 5 but the jobs have not yet been advertised. The agency is currently hiring for their boss, after years of staffing issues around that position. A Frontex spokesman said the delays stemmed from the coronavirus pandemic.

      Documents seen by The Times laid out how in one episode the Greek authorities were consulted before a report was made, and were able to suppress it. On Aug. 10, a German crew deployed by Frontex reported that a Greek Coast Guard vessel “took up border control measures prohibiting the landing to Samos.”

      The expression refers to maneuvering and making waves around a dinghy to repel it. The event was not recorded as a “serious incident,” because, the document said, the Greek Coast Guard argued the activities “do not provide any ground” to initiate such a report.

      Another incident, which a Frontex aerial crew observed and reported in detail to its headquarters, took place on the evening of April 18 to 19 off the coast of Lesbos, and lasted more than five hours.

      A dinghy was detected by the Greek authorities and approximately 20 migrants were rescued and put on board a Greek Coast Guard vessel shortly after midnight, their empty dinghy towed by the Coast Guard toward the island.

      But instead of being taken to shore, at 2:45 a.m., the migrants were put back on their dinghy and tugged to Turkish waters by the Greek Coast Guard, the Frontex aerial crew reported.

      As events unfolded, the Greek command center twice asked the Frontex aircraft to change its flight path, directing it away from the incident.

      “At 03:21 Frontex Surveillance Aircraft communicates that the rubber boat has no engine and it is adrift. Greek assets are departing the area leaving the rubber boat adrift,” the document said.

      The internal Frontex report detailing this incident and categorizing it as a fundamental-rights violation was “dismissed,” the document shows.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/26/world/europe/frontex-migrants-pushback-greece.html?smid=tw-share

    • #Seehofer deckte offenbar griechische Verbrechen

      Griechische Grenzschützer setzen Flüchtlinge systematisch auf dem Meer aus. Ein internes Dokument legt nun nahe, dass Innenminister #Horst_Seehofer einen Rechtsbruch kaschierte. SPD-Vize Kühnert stellt ihm ein Ultimatum.

      Die Sprecherin von Bundesinnenminister Horst Seehofer war sichtlich nervös, als sie sich Ende November den Fragen der Journalisten stellen musste. Zwei Tage zuvor hatten der SPIEGEL und das ARD-Magazin »Report Mainz« berichtet, dass die Bundespolizei in der Ägäis in eine illegale Zurückweisung von Flüchtlingen verwickelt war. Wiederholt fragten die Journalisten nach. »Ich weiß nicht, wie Sie zu der Einschätzung kommen, dass es sich hierbei um einen illegalen Pushback gehandelt hat«, sagte die Sprecherin schließlich.

      Dabei lagen dem Bundesinnenministerium zu diesem Zeitpunkt längst Informationen vor, die genau darauf hindeuten.

      Im Auftrag der EU-Grenzschutzagentur Frontex patrouillierten die deutschen Einsatzkräfte am 10. August in der Ägäis, nur wenige Hundert Meter von der griechischen Insel Samos entfernt. Dabei entdeckten sie ein Schlauchboot mit 40 Flüchtlingen an Bord. Auftragsgemäß hielten sie es an, allerdings nahmen sie die Menschen auf dem völlig überfüllten Boot nicht an Bord. Stattdessen warteten sie mehr als eine halbe Stunde, bis die griechische Küstenwache das Schlauchboot übernahm.

      Wenig später fanden sich die Flüchtlinge plötzlich in türkischen Gewässern wieder. So beschreiben es interne Dokumente der EU-Grenzschutzagentur Frontex, die dem SPIEGEL vorliegen. Die türkische Küstenwache musste die 40 Migranten später retten. Fotos zeigen Männer, Frauen und kleine Kinder auf dem überfüllten Schlauchboot. Offensichtlich wurden die Menschen von den griechischen Grenzschützern illegal zurückgedrängt.

      Als die griechischen Beamten in den Hafen zurückkehrten, wunderten sich die deutschen Polizisten. Die Küstenwache hatte keine Migranten an Bord und auch kein Schlauchboot im Schlepptau. Die Deutschen meldeten im Anschluss zwar die Details des Einsatzes – aber keine mögliche Menschenrechtsverletzung.
      Was genau haben die Deutschen von diesem illegalen Pushback mitbekommen?

      Bis heute haben die Bundespolizei und das Innenministerium nicht auf die Fragen des SPIEGEL geantwortet. Dabei finden sich die Antworten auf diese Fragen seit Wochen im Intranet der Bundespolizei, also in einem nur für Mitarbeiter zugänglichen Netzwerk. Anhand der elf SPIEGEL-Fragen legte die Bundespolizei-Führung ihre Sicht der Dinge ausführlich dar – noch am Tag der Veröffentlichung des Berichts. Die Fragen waren also längst beantwortet, nur abgeschickt wurden sie nie. Das Innenministerium erklärt das inzwischen auf Anfrage mit einem »Büroversehen«.

      Die Ausführungen im Intranet der Bundespolizei sind politisch heikel. Auf den ersten Blick entlasten sie die deutschen Einsatzkräfte. Wörtlich heißt es, die Bundespolizisten hätten beobachtet, »dass durch die (…) griechischen Einsatzkräfte Migranten physisch an Bord genommen wurden.« Die deutschen Frontex-Beamten konnten also davon ausgehen, dass die Flüchtlinge zunächst in Sicherheit waren. Schließlich wurden sie vor ihren Augen auf ein Schiff der griechischen Küstenwache geholt und trieben nicht mehr in ihrem überfüllten Schlauchboot.

      Warum hat das Innenministerium dieses Detail trotzdem bis heute verschwiegen? Will man im Ministerium die Griechen nicht als Lügner entlarven? Das Flüchtlingsboot, so hatten die griechischen Behörden erklärt, sei beim Anblick der Küstenwache umgekehrt und zurück in türkische Gewässer gefahren.
      Beobachtungen der Deutschen entlarven die Ausrede der Griechen

      Die Beobachtungen der Bundespolizisten widersprechen dieser Darstellung, die Bundespolizei stellt das in ihrem Bericht selbst fest. Wenn die Geflüchteten bereits an Bord des Schiffes der griechischen Küstenwache waren, können sie unmöglich freiwillig auf ihrem Schlauchboot umgekehrt sein. Sollten die Aussagen der Deutschen zutreffen, und davon ist auszugehen, bleibt keine andere vernünftige Erklärung als ein illegaler Pushback der griechischen Küstenwache.

      Horst Seehofer muss sich deshalb die Frage gefallen lassen, warum sein Haus die Verbrechen der griechischen Behörden deckt. Statt aufzuklären, führt er die Öffentlichkeit offenbar in die Irre. So fügt Seehofer sich in das System des Schweigens.

      Seit Juni hat SPIEGEL in gemeinsamen Recherchen mit der Medienorganisation Lighthouse Reports und »Report Mainz« genau dokumentiert, wie die griechischen Pushbacks ablaufen: Die Küstenwache fängt die Migrantinnen und Migranten meist noch auf dem Wasser ab. Manchmal zerstört sie den Außenbordmotor der Schlauchboote, um diese manövrierunfähig zu machen. Dann werden die Schutzsuchenden mit gefährlichen Manövern Richtung Türkei zurückgedrängt. Die Menschen werden auf den Booten oder auf aufblasbaren Rettungsflößen mit Seilen aufs offene Meer gezogen, vom SPIEGEL ausgewertete Videos belegen das.

      Griechische Grenzschützer bedrohen die Geflüchteten mit Waffen, nicht selten fallen Schüsse. Bisweilen schleppen die Beamten sogar Menschen aufs Meer, die es schon auf die griechischen Inseln geschafft haben.

      Auch Frontex-Einheiten stoppen immer wieder Flüchtlingsboote und übergeben sie anschließend an die griechische Küstenwache. Seit Anfang März wird das so gehandhabt. Die Frontex-Einheiten, darunter deutsche Bundespolizisten, unterstehen in der Ägäis der griechischen Küstenwache. Sie werden so zu Gehilfen der Griechen, die bei ihren illegalen Praktiken nicht mal besonders verdeckt vorgehen.

      »Das Innenministerium scheint sich zum Komplizen der Griechen zu machen«, sagt der menschenrechtspolitische Sprecher der Sozialdemokraten, Frank Schwabe. »Dazu müssen sowohl Frontex als auch Innenminister Seehofer dem Bundestag Rede und Antwort stehen.«

      Das Innenministerium teilte auf Anfrage mit, dass eine abschließende Bewertung des Sachverhaltes aufgrund der vorliegenden Informationen nicht möglich sei. Die Bundespolizei habe sich jedenfalls nicht an illegalen Pushbacks beteiligt. Eine vollständige Aufklärung bleibe abzuwarten und Berichte von griechischen Behörden würden nicht kommentiert.

      Die griechischen Behörden bleiben bei ihrer Version der Ereignisse. Das für die Küstenwache zuständige Ministerium teilte mit, der Fahrer der Schlauchbootes sei in Richtung Türkei zurückgefahren, nachdem er die griechische Küstenwache erblickt habe.
      »Wir müssen davon ausgehen, dass Seehofer die Regelverstöße der griechischen Küstenwache deckt, weil sie ihm politisch in den Kram passen«

      SPD-Vize Kevin Kühnert

      Doch in der Opposition und auch beim eigenen Koalitionspartner ist der Unmut groß. Selbst SPD-Vize Kevin Kühnert schaltet sich nun in die Debatte ein. Durch die schriftlich festgehaltenen Erkenntnisse der eigenen Beamten festige sich der Eindruck, dass es in der Ägäis in der Tat zu Pushbacks komme, sagt er. Deshalb müsse Seehofer nun politisch reagieren. »Frontex muss die mutmaßliche griechische Pushback-Praxis endlich effektiv verhindern und die Zugänge zum Asylverfahren sicherstellen«, so Kühnert. »Sollte dies durch die Bundesregierung kurzfristig nicht durchsetzbar sein, muss das deutsche Kontingent unverzüglich aus der Mission abgezogen werden.«

      Kühnert möchte nun von Seehofer »noch in diesem Jahr dargelegt bekommen, wie und bis wann er auf Frontex einwirken wolle, um die Zusammenarbeit mit der griechischen Küstenwache wieder auf eine rechtskonforme Grundlage zu stellen.« Mit seiner Salamitaktik bei der Preisgabe von Informationen werde der Innenminister auch der Fürsorgepflicht gegenüber seinen eigenen Beamten nicht gerecht, mahnt Kühnert. »Wir müssen davon ausgehen, dass Seehofer die Regelverstöße der griechischen Küstenwache deckt, weil sie ihm politisch in den Kram passen. Alles daran wäre inakzeptabel.«

      Neben Seehofer gerät auch Frontex-Chef Fabrice Leggeri durch die Beobachtungen der deutschen Polizisten in Erklärungsnot. Bis heute beteuert Leggeri, dass sich seine Grenzschützer nicht an Pushbacks beteiligen oder von ihnen wissen. Daran zweifelt aber inzwischen selbst die EU-Kommission.

      Auf deren Drängen schilderte Leggeri schriftlich die Details des Vorfalls vom 10. August. In seinen Antworten verschwieg aber auch Leggeri, dass die griechische Küstenwache laut den Deutschen die Flüchtlinge bereits an Bord geholt hatten – obwohl er wohl davon hätte wissen müssen. Die Bundespolizei jedenfalls hat auch dieses Detail des Einsatzes nach eigener Aussage an Frontex gemeldet.

      Frontex teilte auf Anfrage mit, wegen der laufenden Untersuchung keine Angaben zum Vorfall machen zu können.

      Für Leggeri ist die Angelegenheit besonders misslich, weil sich in seinen Aussagen ein Muster erkennen lässt: Der Frontex-Direktor täuscht die Öffentlichkeit, um die Pushbacks zu vertuschen. Vor den EU-Parlamentariern verteidigte er sich unlängst mit einer Falschaussage, indem er behauptete, dass der SPIEGEL und seine Recherchepartner sich bei ihren Recherchen zu einem Pushback im April geirrt hätten. Am fraglichen Tag habe es gar keinen Frontex-Aufklärungsflug gegeben, sagte Leggeri. Keine zwei Tage später musste er einräumen, dass das nicht stimmte. Weitere Vorfälle, die Experten als klare Pushbacks werten, erwähnte Leggeri entweder gar nicht oder nur auf Nachfrage in internen Schreiben.
      EU-Kommission rechnet mit Leggeri ab

      Inzwischen wirft auch die EU-Kommission Leggeri »irreführende« Aussagen vor. Das geht aus einem Brief der Kommission an ihn hervor. In dem Streit geht es um die Einstellung von Grundrechtsbeobachtern. Eigentlich hätte Frontex bis zum 5. Dezember 40 Mitarbeiter einstellen müssen, die darauf achten soll, dass die Rechte von Migranten an Europas Grenzen gewahrt werden. Bis heute hat Leggeri allerdings nicht einen solchen Mitarbeiter eingestellt.

      Der Frontex-Direktor macht die Kommission für die Verzögerung verantwortlich, die wiederum gibt Leggeri die Schuld. Leggeris Äußerungen zu dem Thema würden die Kommission »bestürzen« und »beunruhigen« heißt es in dem Brief. Das Schreiben liegt dem SPIEGEL vor, es liest sich wie eine Kampfansage.

      Die Verzögerungen bei den Grundrechtsbeobachtern seien skandalös, sagt die Grünenbundestagsabgeordnete Luise Amtsberg. Die Sache zeige, dass die Grenzschutzagentur den Menschenrechtsschutz schlicht nicht ernst genug nehme. »Die Bundesregierung muss endlich klare Konsequenzen aus den völkerrechtswidrigen Handlungen im Rahmen von Frontex-Missionen ziehen.«

      https://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/frontex-skandal-horst-seehofer-deckte-offenbar-griechische-verbrechen-a-bd06

    • Push backs and violations of human rights at sea: a #timeline

      The following timeline provides a non-exhaustive compilation of main reports of push backs and other violations of human rights at the Greek-Turkish sea borders since March 2020, following Greece’s decision to impose a one-month suspension of its asylum procedure in response to declarations by Turkey that it would not prevent refugees from crossing its western borders. On 2 March, the Hellenic Armed Forces began live-fire military exercises along the Aegean, from Samothrace to Kastellorizo.

      Timeline dates refer to the date of publication of reports, separately indicating the date of alleged incidents, where available.

      This timeline solely purports to reproduce material made publicly available by media and civil society organisations and does not amount to an assessment by RSA or PRO ASYL of the allegations contained therein.

      https://rsaegean.org/en/push-backs-and-violations-of-human-rights-at-sea-a-timeline
      #chronologie

    • EU: Frontex director accused of misleading parliament over fundamental rights obligations

      Frontex director Fabrice Leggeri has been accused by a senior European Commission official of making statements “in a misleading manner” at a parliamentary hearing in December, when MEPs questioned him over the agency’s alleged role in pushbacks and the new fundamental rights monitoring framework included in 2019 legislation.

      Bang to rights

      In a letter obtained by Statewatch, Monique Pariat (the Director-General of the Commission’s migration and home affairs department), expresses “dismay” at Leggeri’s appearance before the European Parliament’s civil liberties committee (LIBE) on 1 December and rebukes, in no uncertain terms, the account he provided of the agency’s attempts to implement its new fundamental rights obligations.

      Those obligations include a fully functioning and independent fundamental rights office, an accessible complaints mechanism, and a credible serious incident reporting mechanism – the aim of which is to prevent, or at least ensure the reporting and investigation of, human rights abuses witnessed or committed by officials deployed on Frontex operations.

      A key role is foreseen in all this for the fundamental rights officer (FRO), who is supposed to head a team of at least 40 fundamental rights monitors – all of whom the agency was legally obliged to have recruited by 5 December 2020. However, it failed to do so.

      Blame game

      Leggeri told MEPs that although he personally prioritised the swift recruitment of fundamental rights staff, vacancy notices published by the agency in November 2019 were withdrawn on the request of the Commission, and subsequent delays in agreeing the seniority of the posts meant that vacancy notices were only published again in November 2020.

      Pariat does not dispute these points, but underlines that the Commission was obliged to request the withdrawal of the notices, because the Management Board had not approved them, as required by the 2019 Frontex Regulation. Without that approval, the letter says that “the publication of these vacancies was plain and simply unlawful” (emphasis in original).

      She adds that the Frontex Regulation requires the involvement of the FRO in the appointment of their deputy, but there was no such involvement prior to the 2019 vacancy notice publication. The Commission had to intervene to request removal of the vacancy notices, says Pariat, “to prevent serious irregularities which could jeopardise the well-functioning and the reputation of the Agency.”

      Bad reputation

      The agency’s reputation has nevertheless taken a battering in recent months. Frontex has faced numerous accusations that it either knew of or has been involved in pushbacks at Greece’s sea border with Turkey, leading the Socialists & Democrats – the second-largest group in the European Parliament – to call for Leggeri’s resignation. There are numerous other reports of similar violent incidents in the Balkans involving officials deployed on Frontex missions.

      The EU anti-fraud agency, OLAF, has also launched an investigation into the border agency, although the exact reasons for this remain unclear. OLAF’s remit allows it to carry out “administrative investigations for the purpose of fighting fraud, corruption and any other illegal activity affecting the financial interests of the Union.”

      Leggeri has said that the agency will be undertaking a thorough investigation into the allegations of pushbacks, although the working group set up to investigate the affair is made up representatives from the agency’s Management Board and does not include the Fundamental Rights Officer or the agency’s Consultative Forum on Fundamental Rights.

      “Active resistance”

      A document cited by Greek newspaper Kathimerini suggests that fundamental rights are not one of Leggeri’s main interests. The document, provided to the paper by someone described as having “knowledge of the inner workings of Frontex,” says Leggeri told agency staff that “reporting pushbacks involving Frontex personnel is not a route to popularity or promotion,” and that the serous incident reporting (SIR) mechanism is “intentionally centralized to be slow, cumbersome and very discreet”.

      According to the paper, the document also says that Leggeri “actively resisted” hiring the 40 fundamental rights officers required by the Frontex Regulation, and told staff at the agency in early 2020 that “it is not a priority.”

      Pariat’s letter suggests that Leggeri himself delayed the procedure for recruiting new fundamental rights staff by five months, because of his “insistence on an arrangement which would not have been compatible with the EBCG [Frontex] Regulation”.

      There was a “surprising reluctance” from the agency to follow the Commission’s advice on implementing the new fundamental rights framework, says Pariat. She argues that “if the Agency had followed the Commission’s timely guidance and suggestions, the main milestones… could have been completed on time.”

      Even though the recruitment procedure is now going ahead, concerns remain. At the LIBE hearing in December, several MEPs questioned whether the staff grade applicable to the 40 posts will confer adequate authority and independence to the fundamental rights officers.

      At the time of publication, Frontex had not responded to a request for comment.

      Documentation

      - European Commission letter to Mr Leggeri, 18 December: Subject: Your letter of 4 December 2020 (ref: CAB/KARO/10563/2020) (pdf): https://www.statewatch.org/media/1708/eu-com-letter-to-frontex-18-12-20.pdf
      – Fabrice Leggeri, Answers to written questions following the LIBE Committee meeting 1 December (pdf) - annex to this letter (pdf): https://www.statewatch.org/media/1709/eu-frontex-written-questions-answers-libe-hearing-1-12-20.pdf

      https://www.statewatch.org/news/2021/january/eu-frontex-director-accused-of-misleading-parliament-over-fundamental-ri

    • Refoulements et gestion contestée : la pression s’intensifie sur le patron de Frontex

      Fabrice Leggeri, directeur exécutif de l’agence européenne de protection des frontières, est sous la pression de la Commission et du Parlement.

      Ce n’est pas un appel à la démission de Fabrice Leggeri, directeur exécutif de Frontex, mais cela y ressemble fort. Rencontrant, lundi 18 janvier, plusieurs médias européens, dont Le Monde, Ylva Johansson, commissaire européenne aux affaires intérieures et à la migration, a été interrogée sur un éventuel départ du patron français de ce qui est désormais l’Agence européenne de garde-frontières et de garde-côtes. « Je ne fais pas de commentaire là-dessus. Des procédures ont été lancées, elles ne sont pas terminées. Mais je pense qu’elles doivent l’être », indiquait la commissaire socialiste suédoise.

      Des propos prudents mais qui cachent mal le fait qu’entre la Commission et Frontex le torchon brûle. Pour preuve, une lettre envoyée au siège de l’agence en décembre 2020 par #Monique_Pariat, chef de la direction générale de la migration et des affaires intérieures à Bruxelles. Un long réquisitoire reprochant à M. Leggeri des retards, des carences dans la gestion et des « hésitations incompréhensibles » à suivre les instructions. Voire un #mensonge au sujet du recrutement des personnels qui devaient être chargés de veiller au respect des droits fondamentaux au sein de l’Agence.

      Les « procédures » visant M. Leggeri et évoquées par Mme Johansson sont multiples. Et elles visent essentiellement la possible implication de Frontex dans des « pushbacks », des refoulements illégaux de migrants aux frontières de l’Union, avant qu’ils aient pu introduire d’éventuelles demandes d’asile. En octobre 2020, plusieurs médias évoquaient, témoignages et images à l’appui, six cas de refoulements en mer Egée. Avec, notamment, les manœuvres dangereuses d’un navire de Frontex, qui aurait pu entraîner le #naufrage d’une embarcation. La direction de l’Agence démentait à l’époque toute infraction.

      Constitution d’un groupe de travail

      L’Office de lutte antifraude de l’Union a lancé une enquête et, le 7 décembre 2020, les bureaux de M. Leggeri et de son directeur de cabinet ont été perquisitionnés. L’investigation porterait, aussi, sur des faits de #harcèlement et des erreurs de gestion.

      Plusieurs groupes politiques du Parlement européen ont, eux, transmis une longue liste de questions au directeur exécutif après qu’il a été entendu, le 1er décembre 2020, par l’Assemblée. M. Leggeri avait indiqué qu’une #enquête_interne n’avait pas prouvé l’implication de membres de Frontex dans des refoulements illégaux. Peu convaincus, les eurodéputés du groupe socialiste ont exigé sa #démission, d’autres groupes ont réclamé des explications complémentaires.

      Au sein de Frontex même, un #groupe_de_travail avait été constitué en novembre, sur insistance de la Commission. Son rapport devrait être examiné lors d’une réunion du conseil d’administration, mercredi 20 et jeudi 21 janvier. Ce conseil est composé de représentants des pays membres de l’Union et de deux membres de la Commission.

      L’un des principaux reproches adressés à M. Leggeri est qu’il aurait tergiversé pour embaucher la quarantaine de personnes qui, en théorie, auraient dû être à pied d’œuvre dès décembre 2020 pour veiller au respect des droits des migrants et demandeurs d’asile. Dans la lettre de Mme Pariat qu’il a reçue en décembre, le directeur se voit reprocher d’avoir agi « de manière trompeuse » en ne livrant pas les explications correctes aux parlementaires quant à l’absence de ces employés. Mme Johansson pense également que certains des propos qu’il avait tenus n’étaient « pas vrais ».

      Action « illégale »

      La commissaire suédoise n’a, jusqu’ici, pas officiellement retiré sa confiance au directeur. Elle endosse cependant les critiques qui lui sont adressées par sa direction générale, qui évoque encore une action « illégale » de M. Leggeri en 2019, avec la publication de deux vacances de postes dirigeants qui n’avaient pas été approuvées par le conseil d’administration.

      Au Parlement, où la plénière débattait, mardi, du pacte migratoire proposé récemment par la Commission, la tension monte également. Mme Johansson a insisté sur la nécessité pour les pays de l’Union, les candidats à l’adhésion et « les agences européennes aussi » d’adhérer pleinement au respect des #droits_fondamentaux. Et plusieurs députés ont à nouveau mis en cause Frontex, l’élue socialiste bulgare #Elena_Yoncheva jugeant qu’en matière de « pushbacks » l’agence fait désormais « partie du problème, pas de la solution ».

      Une situation embarrassante pour toute l’Union : dotée maintenant d’uniformes, d’armes et d’un budget passé au total à 5,6 milliards d’euros pour la période 2021-2027, l’agence des garde-frontières peut difficilement voir la #légitimité de son principal dirigeant remise en question au plus haut niveau. A ce stade, celui-ci n’a pas réagi officiellement aux accusations qui le visent. Il pourrait le faire prochainement, selon un membre de son entourage.

      https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2021/01/20/refoulements-et-gestion-contestee-la-pression-s-intensifie-sur-le-patron-de-

    • Le garde-frontière Frontex en pleine tourmente

      Les refoulements aux frontières européennes fragilisent la position du directeur de Frontex, l’agence européenne de garde-frontières. La Commission reproche à Fabrice Leggeri d’avoir ralenti l’embauche d’officiers de contrôle des droits fondamentaux. Son agence est soumise à plusieurs #enquêtes, dont une de l’#office_européen_anti-fraude. Des députés demandent sa #démission.

      Bruxelles (Belgique).– Fabrice Leggeri, le directeur de Frontex, est cerné de toutes parts. Sa position, à la tête de l’agence européenne de garde-côtes et de garde-frontières, est fragilisée suite à de récents scandales concernant des refoulements de demandeurs d’asile vers la Turquie, auxquels aurait participé Frontex. Des députés appellent à sa démission. La médiatrice européenne, #Emily_O’Reilly, a ouvert une #enquête le 11 novembre dernier pour évaluer le fonctionnement du mécanisme de #plainte_interne à Frontex. Même l’office européen de lutte anti-fraude investigue et scrute la gestion de l’agence.

      Le dernier coup de boutoir vient de la #Commission_européenne. Dans une lettre du 18 décembre, la directrice générale chargée des migrations et des affaires intérieures, Monique Pariat, adressait des mots durs à Fabrice Leggeri au sujet d’irrégularités et de retards dans les procédures de recrutement d’un officier des droits fondamentaux, de son adjoint et de 40 contrôleurs des droits fondamentaux, qui devaient faire partie de l’agence le 5 décembre 2020 au plus tard et qui ne sont toujours pas embauchés : « C’est la responsabilité de la Commission […] d’intervenir pour empêcher que des irrégularités sérieuses viennent compromettre le bon fonctionnement et la réputation de l’agence. »

      La réputation de Frontex a pourtant déjà été écornée à de multiples reprises dans le passé, sans que l’exécutif bruxellois s’en émeuve. « Pendant longtemps la Commission a protégé Fabrice Leggeri, commente #Birgit_Sippel, eurodéputée allemande du groupe des socialistes et démocrates. Il semble que le vent tourne, notamment sous la pression du #Parlement_européen. »

      C’est le 23 octobre 2020 que le vent a tourné. Une série de médias européens, dont Der Spiegel et Bellingcat, publiaient alors une enquête fouillée suggérant que l’agence européenne avait, entre mars et août 2020, soit assisté à des refoulements de demandeurs d’asile en mer Égée par des garde-côtes grecs, sans les avoir rapportés, soit participé activement au renvoi de canots vers les côtes turques, alors que les refoulements sont strictement prohibés par le droit international. Le 8 juin, un navire de l’opération « #Poséidon » de Frontex, battant pavillon roumain, aurait même bloqué un canot de migrants avant de contribuer à le repousser.

      Fabrice Leggeri est venu s’expliquer devant le Parlement européen le 1er décembre. Selon lui, l’enquête interne menée par ses services concluait à « l’absence de preuves » de refoulement dans les cas mentionnés par la presse. Il insistait sur le fait que les activités de contrôle aux frontières avaient toujours lieu « à la demande et sous le commandement des autorités nationales », Frontex intervenant en coordination des opérations maritimes, en mobilisant des avions, des navires et des garde-frontières originaires des 27 États membres.

      Ces déclarations élusives ont hérissé de nombreux députés européens. « La façon dont il a répondu à nos questions montre que Fabrice Leggeri ne prend pas vraiment au sérieux ces allégations. Frontex a besoin de changements structurels, et je pense qu’il n’est pas la bonne personne pour les mener », avance Tineke Strik, eurodéputée néerlandaise des Verts.

      De la #gauche_unitaire_européenne (#GUE) au groupe centriste de #Renew, les critiques pleuvent à l’encontre de Fabrice Leggeri, mais l’attitude à adopter crée des divisions. La centriste néerlandaise, #Sophie_In’t_Veld, du groupe Renew, milite pour qu’une commission d’enquête parlementaire soit mise sur pied, « car on parle d’actes criminels ». Avant de réclamer la démission du directeur – qui ne peut être décidée que par le conseil d’administration de Frontex composé des États membres et de la Commission – la députée pense « qu’il faut d’abord faire toute la lumière sur les faits ».

      Au sein du groupe des socialistes et démocrates, des députés veulent aller plus vite. « Pourquoi perdre un an avec une #commission_d’enquête ?, s’interroge #Birgit_Sippel. Les rapports décrivant les violations des droits humains aux frontières sont là. Pour l’instant, Fabrice Leggeri se cache et échappe à ses responsabilités. » Des députés de la GUE comme des #Verts réclament à la fois une commission d’enquête et la #démission du directeur. Quant à la droite, le Parti populaire européen n’a pas encore de position sur ces thèmes, mais voit d’un mauvais œil cette idée de commission d’enquête.

      Le mastodonte sans contrôle

      Pour Yves Pascouau, directeur du programme Europe à l’association Res-Publica, par ailleurs spécialiste des questions migratoires européenne (et élu de la majorité nantaise), « l’augmentation des moyens et des pouvoirs de Frontex ne peut pas se faire sans une augmentation de ses responsabilités ».

      Frontex, au fil des ans, est devenu un mastodonte. En 2012, son budget était de 89,5 millions d’euros. Il est en 2020 de 460 millions. 5,6 milliards d’euros ont été dégagés pour la période 2021-2027. Il s’agit de la plus grosse agence de l’UE qui sera dotée, d’ici 2027, de 10 000 garde-côtes véritablement européens, avec leurs propres uniformes. « Cela permettra d’augmenter la transparence et la responsabilité de Frontex », veut croire une source européenne.

      Aujourd’hui, Frontex se déploie sous commandement des autorités nationales. Mais les agents qui agissent en son nom ne sont pas exempts de responsabilités. Ils ont l’obligation d’envoyer un rapport aux dirigeants de Frontex à chaque incident sérieux auquel ils assistent, y compris lorsque des violations des droits humains sont observées.

      Le Forum consultatif de Frontex, qui réunit des institutions européennes, des organisations internationales et ONG, s’interroge inlassablement sur « l’effectivité » de ce système. En 2018, seuls 3 incidents sérieux relatifs à des violations de droits humains furent comptabilisés par l’agence, et 9 en 2019, sans que l’on sache quel a été le suivi de ces dossiers.

      Quant à l’embauche des milliers de garde-frontières, elle doit être contrebalancée par davantage de contrôles des activités de Frontex. L’officier des droits fondamentaux, son adjoint et sa petite équipe d’au minimum 40 contrôleurs sont considérés comme la clef de voûte de ce système de surveillance du respect des #droits_humains.

      Dans la lettre adressée à Fabrice Leggeri, Monique Pariat regrette qu’au 18 décembre, aucun de ces recrutements n’ait été effectué. Elle pointe la « réticence surprenante de Frontex » à suivre les lignes directrices de la Commission, « ce qui a encore davantage entravé et retardé cet important processus ». La directrice générale dénonce encore la démarche « illégale » du directeur général qui avait publié, en 2019, une première annonce pour le poste d’officier des droits fondamentaux, sans l’accord du conseil d’administration de Frontex qui sera pourtant le supérieur hiérarchique direct de ce futur employé.

      Elle l’accuse encore d’avoir présenté les faits aux eurodéputés « de manière trompeuse ». L’attaque est frontale. Au-delà de l’enjeu institutionnel, Giorgos Kosmopoulos, du bureau européen d’Amnesty International, estime que « l’embauche de contrôleurs des droits fondamentaux n’est pas une mauvaise chose à condition qu’ils aient véritablement les moyens de mener des enquêtes, d’aller sur le terrain ». Et sur le terrain, justement, les refoulements aux frontières de l’Europe sont documentés et très nombreux. En #Grèce, en #Croatie, en #Hongrie.

      En mars 2020, le comité européen pour la prévention de la torture rapportait des allégations « crédibles et consistantes » de refoulements et détentions arbitraires, souvent accompagnées de violences, à la frontière gréco-turque. « On ne parle pas de cas isolés, ajoute Giorgos Kosmopoulos. La pratique est si répandue et généralisée qu’il est impossible que Frontex ne soit pas au courant, vu son implication sur le terrain. »

      Le directeur de Frontex, s’il estime qu’il existe « des violations graves […] des droits fondamentaux » doit mettre un terme à l’activité litigieuse à laquelle participe son agence. « Le directeur doit vérifier la situation sur le terrain et le cas échéant il doit retirer ses équipes pour qu’elles ne soient pas liées à des violations de droits humains, mais ce n’est jamais arrivé », conclut Giorgos Kosmopoulos.

      Dans ce contexte, Tineke Strik pense qu’une démission de Fabrice Leggeri, certes bienvenue, « ne résoudra pas tout. Les problèmes sont structurels. Il faudra lancer une enquête approfondie sur le fonctionnement de Frontex ».

      https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/210121/le-garde-frontiere-frontex-en-pleine-tourmente?onglet=full

    • Validating Border Violence on the Aegean: Frontex’s Internal Records

      The Aegean Sea, separating Turkey from Greece’s ‘hotspot’ islands, is a site of longstanding and increasingly visible border violence: the systematic use of inflatable life rafts by the Hellenic Coast Guard to push people back to Turkey has been widely documented since March last year. This maritime borderzone also stages the operational theatre of Frontex Joint Operation Poseidon, under which patrol boats, helicopters and surveillance planes have been deployed to patrol the extensive breadth of water.

      Frontex repeatedly denied any involvement in these pushbacks (see here and here), stressing its commitment to the protection, promotion and fulfilment of fundamental rights. This ‘modus operandi’ in which fundamental rights become a rhetorical defence could no longer hold after investigative reporters showed visual evidence of Frontex’s complicit role in pushbacks, prompting further media scrutiny and pressure by the European Parliament and Commission.

      In November, Efsyn, a Greek media outlet, published an eighteen-page long Frontex internal document addressed to the agency’s Management Board. The document aimed at answering questions by Member States and the Commission about the on-going pushbacks in the Aegean. The document, which fuelled Frontex’s recent internal inquiry, lists a series of so-called ‘incidents’ and, at times, offers detailed accounts of the previously denied pushbacks. However, these were not recorded as such.

      A closer look at the document reveals numerous ‘#JORA_incidents’ classified as ‘prevention of departure’, as this transcript from August 19, 2020, illustrates:

      frontex

      The #Joint_Operations_Reporting_Application (#JORA) is the main information system that collects and stores all ‘border related incidents’ from Frontex joint operations. Such incidents range from Search and Rescue (SAR) operations, interceptions, Serious Incident Reports to, as the one above, so-called preventions of departure. The leaked document contains twenty of the latter, all following a similar pattern: Firstly, the location of the rubber boat is recorded in Turkish territorial waters; second, Frontex assets are “excused from the scene” after detection; and, finally, a rehearsed ending: the boat “altered course on her own initiative/will and headed towards the Turkish coasts” or, alternately, the Turkish Coast Guard “took over responsibility”.

      Importantly, these JORA incidents coexist with the regular documenting of border violence. Descriptions of boats of asylum-seekers returning to Turkey of their own volition jar with regular testimonies describing the coercive methods employed to push them back. Alarm Phone, Aegean Boat Report and Border Violence Monitoring Network document human rights violations occurring at the same border, on the same dates and, often, at the same time as the JORA incidents.

      On the same day as the JORA incident above:

      Logging the border

      JORA incidents, together with information collected via Eurosur, form the backbone of Europe’s external borders and migration situational picture, Frontex’s narrative of the border. Yet, what is and is not accounted for in JORA and how, has not received much attention. Contrary to the few Serious Incident Reports related to violations of fundamental rights, which are dealt with by the Fundamental Rights Officer and presented to the Management Board, other incidents recorded in JORA don’t reach the public domain. Once inserted and validated, they become a dot on a map at the Frontex Situation Centre in Warsaw. They are devised to feed into risk analyses, maps and weekly analytical overviews.

      This ‘business-as-usual’ mode of reporting is mostly done by a few officers from the host Member State— in Greece, by the Hellenic Coast Guard and Police—who insert incidents into a standardised template through a set of rigid, mandatory fields. Reporting is not done by the officers on the patrol boats but mostly those who sit at coordination centres. Once inserted in the system, incidents are sent to the International Coordination Centre and the Frontex Situation Centre where they are cross-checked with reports from both Hellenic Coast Guard and Frontex deployed officers for validation. This validation process does not statically move in one direction; incidents can go back and forth in the validation chain. The final validation is done by a “specialized team of experts” at Frontex headquarters as the leaked document explains. Yet, incidents can be re-initiated and modified even after finalisation (see work by Pollozek).

      The design of the system allows for the rehearsed recording of formulaic bordering practices that, if closely examined, resemble its coexistent violent forms. Shading into the routine, the JORA records circulate regularly from the islands to Piraeus and Warsaw. While the full JORA archive is inaccessible to the public, the reviewed incidents give us insight into how a particular doctrine of border enforcement is being sustained by the agency and to what effects.

      Normalising violence, eroding rights

      The effects of these records arguably extend beyond the tactical level of border policing. Through their production, a narrative arc is formed by the recorded incidents, generating a specific mode of understanding. Data must be made intelligible to the JORA system and officials along the chain before it can be validated. As a result, even acts of violence such as pushbacks can get translated into mundane logs and thus, brought within the remit of everyday border enforcement and legality.

      The leaked document asserts that the “the notion of ‘prevention of departure”, according to which these ‘incidents’ are classified, should be interpreted “in conjunction with the provisions of Regulation 656/2014, in particular Articles 6 and 7”. While the precise legal meaning of this category in this context remains unclear, its ramifications for the right to leave a country are concerning.

      Regulation 656/2014 indeed provides legal basis (in certain factual circumstances) for the interception of boats carrying asylum-seekers. Yet, it clearly stipulates that the actions that official entities may lawfully take to enforce the border must be compliant with their obligations under EU and international law, including, inter alia, international human rights and refugee law. Moreover, it states: “This Regulation should not affect the responsibilities of search and rescue authorities, including for ensuring that coordination and cooperation is conducted in such a way that the persons rescued can be delivered to a place of safety.”

      The records, however, present an account of border enforcement that exists in isolation from human rights and humanitarian commitments. The dangerous conditions in which border enforcement takes place and the vulnerability of asylum seekers to these conditions are rendered irrelevant and thereby, banalised. Rubber boats carrying illegalized migrants are generally considered seaworthy, not recognised as in distress, regardless of how many people they carry or the fluctuating weather conditions in the Aegean. In none of the incidents contained in the leaked document was a SAR triggered by the Hellenic Coast Guard or Frontex. In this sense, JORA acts as a mediator that transforms, translates, distorts and modifies the meaning of these ‘incidents’. Through the designation of bureaucratic categories (e.g. prevention of departure), JORA codifies and transforms situations that should trigger humanitarian and human rights obligations into legitimate practices of border control. In the process, the duty to render assistance at sea is distorted, and the obligation to facilitate access to asylum is obscured.

      In the context of on-going internal discussions about the legality of interceptions at sea, Frontex’s internal records reveal the practices deemed acceptable by the agency and their interpretation of international legal obligations. The records provide insight into a vision of border enforcement, crystallised at the boundaries of the global north, that perpetuates the violent securitisation of borders to the detriment of human mobility, dignity and safety. They carve out a space where border control activities are shielded from scrutiny, erasing human rights from the operational script.

      Any comments about this post? Get in touch with us! Send us an email, or post a comment here or on Facebook. You can also tweet us.

      https://www.law.ox.ac.uk/research-subject-groups/centre-criminology/centreborder-criminologies/blog/2021/01/validating-border

    • Five migrant pushback claims under scrutiny

      The board of directors of the European border agency Frontex, which met on Wednesday and Thursday, has decided to further investigate five of 13 reported cases of illegal migrants pushbacks last year, with the alleged help of Frontex guards, from Greece into Turkish territorial waters in the eastern Aegean.

      The board deemed that Frontex did not provide the necessary information and clarifications for the five cases under investigation.

      In view of this, the team investigating the claims has been given additional time to complete its work and present its final conclusions to a new extraordinary board meeting scheduled for February 26.

      With regard to the other eight cases, the board said that there is no evidence to confirm any violations. It also accepted that some of these incidents unfolded in Turkish territorial waters, and in others the migrant boats turned back on their own accord.

      https://www.ekathimerini.com/261560/article/ekathimerini/news/five-migrant-pushback-claims-under-scrutiny

    • L’agence européenne Frontex fragilisée par les accusations d’expulsions illégales

      L’agence de surveillance des frontières de l’UE, qui a annoncé qu’elle suspendait ses opérations en Hongrie, est accusée d’avoir participé au « pushback », qui consiste à repousser les migrants sans leur laisser la possibilité de déposer une demande d’asile.
      Accusations d’implication dans des « pushbacks » – des refoulements illégaux de migrants et demandeurs d’asile aux frontières –, enquêtes de l’Office de lutte antifraude de l’Union européenne (UE) et de la Commission de Bruxelles, mise en cause de son directeur, Fabrice Leggeri : l’Agence européenne de garde-frontières et de garde-côtes, Frontex, chargée de surveiller les frontières extérieures de l’UE, traverse de grosses turbulences. Mercredi 27 janvier, elle a même été contrainte d’annoncer qu’elle allait arrêter ses opérations en Hongrie, une première dans l’histoire de cette institution, fondée en 2004.
      « Nos efforts communs pour protéger les frontières extérieures ne peuvent réussir que si nous veillons à ce que notre coopération et nos activités soient pleinement conformes aux lois de l’UE », a expliqué un porte-parole, en critiquant implicitement les pratiques illégales de la police hongroise, auxquelles l’agence européenne participait pourtant depuis la crise des réfugiés de 2015.
      En cause, la pratique du « pushback », systématisée par le premier ministre ultranationaliste, Viktor Orban, et développée ailleurs dans l’Union. Le fait de repousser les migrants arrivés sur le sol européen sans leur laisser la possibilité de déposer une demande d’asile n’a pas été partout aussi clairement assumé qu’en Hongrie, mais la Grèce, la Croatie, l’Italie ou la Slovénie, notamment, ont été mises an cause pour s’être livrées, elles aussi, à cette pratique illégale. Un « Livre noir », épais de 1 500 pages et présenté récemment par un réseau d’ONG, a recensé pas moins de 900 cas de ce type, concernant près de 13 000 personnes.
      Expulsions inhumaines
      Depuis une loi adoptée en 2016, la Hongrie considère, elle, que tous les migrants arrivant sur son sol peuvent être immédiatement renvoyés vers la Serbie voisine. Lorsqu’ils sont arrêtés, après avoir réussi à franchir la clôture que M. Orban a fait construire tout le long de la frontière, ou même à Budapest, les migrants se voient systématiquement refuser de déposer une demande d’asile et sont expulsés sans autre forme de procès, dans des conditions parfois inhumaines.
      Présents à la frontière hongroise depuis 2015, les agents de Frontex ont participé à cette politique, malgré les critiques des organisations non gouvernementales. « La Hongrie est le seul pays à avoir légalisé les “pushbacks” et à les pratiquer aussi ouvertement. La police hongroise publie même des chiffres tous les jours sur le nombre de personnes renvoyées en Serbie », dénonce Andras Lederer, du Comité Helsinki hongrois, une ONG spécialisée dans l’aide aux migrants. Il estime que la Hongrie a pratiqué 50 000 refoulements depuis 2016. A l’issue d’une longue bataille juridique, la Cour de justice de l’Union européenne a estimé, le 17 décembre 2020, que les pratiques hongroises enfreignent les directives régissant le droit d’asile.
      Malgré cet arrêt, le gouvernement de Budapest a refusé de modifier sa législation et a continué ces pratiques. « La Hongrie ne va pas céder devant la pression des forces pro-immigration », affirmait encore le porte-parole du gouvernement, Zoltan Kovacs, jeudi 28 janvier. « Bruxelles veut nous prendre le peu d’aide qu’on avait », a-t-il ajouté en réaction au retrait de Frontex, devenu inéluctable après l’arrêt de la Cour de Luxembourg. Pour M. Lederer, ce retrait est en revanche « bienvenu » : « La Hongrie ne pourra plus se cacher derrière la présence de Frontex pour continuer cette pratique. »
      Violences aux frontières de l’Union
      Avec un contingent censé atteindre 10 000 hommes, un budget pluriannuel passé à 5,6 milliards d’euros et son rôle de gardienne stricte des frontières, en association avec les forces nationales, l’agence dirigée par M. Leggeri est l’une des pièces essentielles de la politique migratoire de l’UE et du « pacte » proposé en 2020 pour la Commission. Sa mise en cause, alors même qu’elle est loin de tourner à plein régime, est de mauvais augure.
      Jeudi 28 janvier, alors que les vingt-sept ministres de l’intérieur, réunis en visioconférence, évoquaient – en présence du directeur de Frontex – le dossier de la migration, l’Agence des Nations unies pour les réfugiés évoquait un droit d’asile « menacé » en Europe et disait recevoir « de nombreux rapports » sur les violences exercées aux frontières de l’Union.
      D’où l’attention toute particulière que porte la commissaire aux affaires intérieures, Ylva Johansson, au dossier des « pushbacks ». La responsable suédoise se satisfait-elle des explications de la direction de Frontex, dont le conseil d’administration affirmait, le 21 janvier, qu’il n’avait pas trouvé de preuves de violation des droits de l’homme dans les cas qu’il a examinés ? « Sur la base des informations fournies », il n’aurait « pu établir de preuves ». Il a toutefois précisé que ses conclusions ne concernaient que certains incidents en Grèce et que des clarifications étaient nécessaires. Cinq cas problématiques de possibles refoulements impliquant Frontex sont encore examinés.
      Jeudi, devant les ministres, Mme Johansson a réclamé « toutes les analyses nécessaires » pour, dit-elle, rétablir la confiance dans l’agence. Elle a aussi évoqué un projet de réforme, incluant la nomination de trois sous-directeurs et la mise en place – enfin – d’un système de surveillance des droits humains.
      Le débat « recule »
      Au-delà du sort de Frontex, la question est de savoir si une définition d’une véritable politique migratoire européenne, avec une refonte des règles de l’asile et une solidarité accrue entre les pays, a une chance de se réaliser. Confirmant que le débat sur le « pacte » élaboré par la Commission « n’a pas beaucoup avancé », le secrétaire d’Etat belge à la migration, Sammy Mahdi, déclarait, jeudi, au quotidien La Libre Belgique qu’il fallait le rendre « rationnel ». Pour sortir les discussions de l’ornière, pour vérifier que la proposition de la Commission est opérationnelle et, enfin, pour que chacun annonce vraiment ses intentions, M. Mahdi propose « une simulation » : sur la base des chiffres de l’année 2019, chaque pays préciserait ce qu’il pourrait accomplir concernant l’accueil, la solidarité, le financement des infrastructures d’accueil aux frontières, etc.
      Un communiqué du secrétaire d’Etat évoquait une possible évolution de la Hongrie et de ses partenaires du groupe de Visegrad, à condition que soit satisfaite leur revendication (très floue) d’une solidarité « flexible ». Un participant à la réunion de jeudi faisait preuve de moins de conviction : « Faire avancer le débat ? Mais il recule ! » Vétéran des conseils européens sur la migration, le ministre luxembourgeois Jean Asselborn n’est pas loin de confirmer : « Nous sommes sans doute tous d’accord sur les contrôles aux frontières extérieures ou sur les retours. Mais pas sur la manière de respecter les droits humains des demandeurs d’asile, sur les relocalisations obligatoires ou sur l’impératif de solidarité » entre les pays européens. Les Etats prêts à respecter ces principes se compteraient, en effet, désormais sur les doigts d’une main.

      https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2021/01/29/l-agence-europeenne-frontex-fragilisee-par-les-accusations-d-expulsions-ille

    • Refoulement de migrants : « Frontex se retranche toujours derrière ses États hôtes » (Migreurop)

      L’agence de surveillance des frontières de l’UE, a annoncé qu’elle suspendait ses opérations en Hongrie après une décision de la Cour de justice européenne critiquant le système d’asile de ce pays. L’Office européen de lutte antifraude enquête de son côté sur la gouvernance de l’agence par son directeur exécutif, Fabrice Leggeri dont plusieurs eurodéputés demandent la démission. Frontex a-t-elle participé à des opérations de « pushback », initiées par la Hongrie, qui consistent à repousser des migrants arrivés sur le sol européen sans leur laisser la possibilité de déposer une demande d’asile ? Le décryptage de Brijitte Espuche, co-coordinatrice du réseau Migreurop.

      https://www.rfi.fr/fr/podcasts/invit%C3%A9-international/20210129-refoulement-de-migrants-frontex-se-retranche-toujours-derri%C3%A8re-ses

    • Frontex: Management Board pushes back against secrecy proposals in preliminary report

      Statewatch is publishing the preliminary report of the working group set up by the agency’s Management Board following allegations of involvement in pushbacks from Turkey to Greece. Amongst other things, the report indicates that Frontex has proposed labelling Serious Incident Reports as EU Classified Information, which would reduce transparency and, in turn, accountability.

      https://www.statewatch.org/news/2021/february/frontex-management-board-pushes-back-against-secrecy-proposals-in-prelim

    • Scandals Plunge Europe’s Border Agency into Turmoil

      Accusations of workplace harassment, mismanagement and financial irregularities have led to chaos at Europe’s border agency. The allegations weigh heavily on Frontex head Fabrice Leggeri.

      The men and women who are part of Europe’s new elite border force meet every morning at 9 a.m. for a video conference that is viewed on screens in countries like Greece, Croatia, Bulgaria and Albania. The Frontex officials usually discuss migration movements and human trafficking, But since the beginning of January, the internal meetings have focused primarily on low morale within the team.

      "Do something at last, or soon no one will work here anymore,” one border guard warned in one of the calls. The policemen and women who regularly complain about their woes are the European Union’s first dedicated border guards. They’re part of Frontex’s standing corps.

      For months now, Frontex, the EU’s border protection agency, and its head Fabrice Leggeri, have been embroiled in a series of scandals. Frontex has been accused of being involved in illegal repatriations of refugees at Europe’s external borders, workplace harassment and a possible case of fraud linked to the agency. Now the crisis has also reached the standing corps, the border management agency’s prestige project.

      Frontex plans to deploy up to 10,000 border guards to the EU’s external borders in the coming years. The civil servants were promised brand new equipment and EU jobs with lavish salaries and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen personally pushed for the creation of the standing corps. The stars of the EU flag sparkle on the sleeves of the new dark blue uniforms worn by the reserves.

      The job may sound glamorous on paper, but it is anything but in the countries where the reserve guards have been deployed, like Greece, Croatia and Albania. Several officers have told DER SPIEGEL of a shortage of agency vehicles, such that expensive SUVs must be rented instead — with officers allegedly even having to pay for gas themselves in some cases. They claim that expenses weren’t reimbursed for bureaucratic reasons, and that parts of the new uniforms were missing and had to be bought by the border guards themselves.

      The officers should be out hunting down criminals and catching smugglers, but Category 1 officers, who are directly employed by Frontex, so far haven’t been allowed to carry weapons because the agency failed to provide the legal basis for doing so in time. The result is that the border guards, supposedly members of an elite European force, have to be escorted on every one of their patrols by national security forces.

      When contacted by DER SPIEGEL, Frontex also said that the pandemic has created additional challenges for deploying the force, but things are back on track again. Yet the agency’s own officers don’t see it that way. It’s a "Potemkin reserve,” scoffs one. "It’s not worth it,” says another officer, who is thinking about quitting.

      The establishment of the standing corps is one of the EU’s most important migration policy projects. The purpose is to control irregular immigration. But now the European Commission and the member states must stand by and watch as it becomes the focus of ridicule.

      The fiasco over the standing corps has become emblematic of an agency that has been falling short of public expectations for years, and of an agency head who is accumulating more and more power but doesn’t seem to know how to use it correctly.

      Under Leggeri, Frontex has stumbled from one scandal to the next. Last autumn, DER SPIEGEL, together with international media partners, first reported that Frontex forces in the Aegean Sea were involved in illegal repatriations of refugees, which are called pushbacks. The Frontex Management Board is investigating the allegations and the EU Ombudsman has opened an inquiry. Leggeri himself is apparently obstructing the investigations.

      In January, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) announced it had launched an investigation into Frontex. Leggeri claims that the investigators are looking into the pushback reports and that he cannot provide any further comment. But DER SPIEGEL has found in its reporting that the accusations go much further. The investigation involves a possible case of fraud involving a service provider, allegations of workplace harassment and whether information was withheld from the agency’s fundamental rights officer, whose job is to monitor Frontex’s adherence to basic human rights laid out in EU charters, conventions and international law. Internal documents suggest that Leggeri’s entire leadership style is under scrutiny.

      What happened? How could the authority charged with protecting the EU’s external borders descend into such chaos? And what does it all mean for the EU’s migration policy?

      DER SPIEGEL, the media organization Lighthouse Reports and the French newspaper Libération interviewed nearly a dozen current and former Frontex officials in the reporting of this story. Most insisted that their names not be mentioned in the story for fear that they could lose their jobs. Leggeri, for his part, rejected an interview request.

      When combined with internal documents that DER SPIEGEL and its partners were able to view, the insiders’ reports paint a picture of an agency in turmoil.

      France Télécom: How Leggeri seized power at Frontex

      The headquarters of Frontex are located in an office complex in Warsaw’s Wola district, not far from the city center. For years, only a few officials worked here compiling reports on migration routes. Actual border guards were borrowed from national police forces.

      But the agency has grown from a budget of just over 6 million euros in 2005 to 460 million euros in 2020. By 2027, Europe’s taxpayers will have provided 5.6 billion euros in funding to the agency.

      Frontex now has its own border guards, called the standing corps, in addition to aircraft and drones that will soon be complemented by unmanned airships that will provide surveillance as they circle over the Aegean Sea. Frontex’s rise has had a lot to do with Leggeri, the man who has done more than anyone else to shape the agency.

      Leggeri, 52, was born in Mulhouse, in France’s Alsace region, and speaks fluent German. He studied at the École Nationale d’Administration in Strasbourg, a university that has long produced the French elite. Starting in 2013, he worked at the Interior Ministry in Paris in the department for irregular immigration. At the time, the government advocated for Frontex’s expansion, and two years later, Leggeri was named head of the agency.

      Colleagues describe Leggeri as a technocrat. At a Christmas party once, the team gathered around and he began talking with great pathos about the achievements of the "Frontex family.” But Leggeri was reading from his notepad. "It seemed like the whole things was out of his league,” recalled one audience member.

      During the course of Frontex’s expansion, Leggeri tailored the agency to precisely fit his needs. He expanded his cabinet, filling many important posts with fellow French compatriots.

      Frontex workers say Leggeri is on rarely seen in the hallways, and that all important decisions are made by a small inner circle. They describe him as being a control freak, with some former staffers even going so far as to call him a "dictator.” Leggeri "runs the agency like it’s a sub-prefecture,” says someone who has worked with him for a long time. "You may be able to run a French ministry that way, but not an international organization.”

      Frontex staffers have taken to calling Leggeri’s cabinet "France Télécom” when the bosses aren’t around. It’s a reference to the scandal at the French telecommunications authority, which involved systematic bullying and harassment so bad that it drove a number of employees to commit suicide.

      The resentment felt by many Frontex staffers is largely directed at one of Leggeri’s closest confidants: Thibauld de La Haye Jousselin. The Frenchman comes from an aristocratic family from southern France. He once worked for Bernard Carayon, a member of the French parliament, who used to be part of a far-right student union. De La Haye Jousselin is a reserve officer in the French army and has a thing for the military and uniforms. “De La Haye Jousselin is clearly on the right politically,” says someone who has known him for years. Now, he serves Leggeri as the head of his cabinet.

      Insiders say that de La Haye Jousselin leads with an iron fist, and that he is quick to lose his temper. Employees claim he insults people and engages in disrespectful behavior. The agency stated that Frontex has not received any official complaints about de La Haye Jousselin and also claimed that no cabinet member has been hired solely on the basis of their nationality. De La Haye Jousselin dismissed the accusations as "false and baseless.”

      But the behavior of Leggeri and his cabinet chief has consequences. Dissent seems to be frowned upon. And this is likely one of the reasons internal control mechanisms at the agency are becoming less effective.

      Inmaculada Arnáez has more than 20 years of experience in human rights issues. The Spanish lawyer has worked for the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and she has been with Frontex since 2012. As the fundamental rights officer, she is supposed to operate independently of the executive director in her job as the agency’s internal watchdog. But when Leggeri took the helm in 2015, she quickly became aware of how little concern the new leader apparently had for human rights.

      Former Frontex employees report that Arnáez was left out in the cold. "We felt like Leggeri just bypassed her.” They claim that human rights had never been his priority.

      The final break between Leggeri and Arnáez came when the European Parliament granted the fundamental rights commissioner more powers in 2019. Arnáez was to be assisted by 40 human rights observers, which would have enabled her office to conduct its own investigations at Europe’s external borders. Apparently that was unthinkable for Leggeri.

      On Nov. 19, 2019, just as Arnáez was returning from an extended illness, the Frontex chief publicly advertised her position. In doing so, Leggeri had also bypassed the Frontex Management Board, since such a job posting requires the board’s approval. He had informed Arnáez only a short time before. In a written assessment obtained by DER SPIEGEL, the European Commission states that Leggeri’s move had been "plain and simply unlawful” and "could be considered as an attempt to discredit or weaken” Arnáez.

      The Commission forced Leggeri to withdraw the job posting. But the Frontex chief didn’t give up. He claimed Arnáez had to be replaced because she doesn’t have enough management experience to lead 40 employees.

      It seems likely, though, that the Frontex chief was mainly bothered by Arnáez because of her advocacy for human rights. Arnáez has repeatedly warned Leggeri against breaking the law. Colleagues say that she believed in the power of her reports. She regularly informed Leggeri about human rights violations in the Aegean Sea and recommended that he abandon the mission in Hungary, where Prime Minister Viktor Orbán legalized pushbacks in 2016.

      Leggeri ignored the fundamental rights officer’s reports and continued the operation in the Aegean Sea. He only withdrew his officers from Hungary a few weeks ago after a ruling by the European Court of Justice forced him to do so. When contacted for comment, Leggeri stated that he had always valued working together with Arnáez. He added that management experience is needed in the post because of the sharp increase in the budget.

      Leggeri still hasn’t hired the 40 human rights monitors to this day. When grilled by the European Parliament, Leggeri blamed the European Commission for the delays. European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson, who is responsible for the portfolio that includes Frontex, then accused him of having misled parliament.

      Arnáez has been on medical leave again since last March. The Frontex Management Board replaced her on an interim basis with Annegret Kohler, a German national who had previously worked in Leggeri’s cabinet. "It’s a clear conflict of interest,” says a Frontex official.
      The Pushback Affair: How Frontex Covered Up Human Rights Violations

      The walls of the Frontex Situation Centre are covered in monitors, with surveillance planes and satellites transmitting real-time images from border regions. From their desks, Frontex officers can closely monitor events taking place on the edges of Europe. “You can see how many people are sitting in a refugee boat,” says someone who knows the room well.

      A collection of images that appeared on screens here on the night of April 18-19, 2020, continue to occupy members of European Parliament until today. They come from a Frontex surveillance plane flying over the Aegean, according to several internal Frontex reports that DER SPIEGEL has obtained.

      Shortly before midnight, Greek border patrol officers intercepted a rubber dinghy just north of the island of Lesbos and transferred the 20 to 30 refugees onboard their ship. According to prevailing law, they should have then brought the asylum-seekers to Lesbos, where they could apply for asylum. Instead, though, they put the refugees back into the dinghy and then towed them back toward Turkey.

      Greek officials in the coordination center in Piraeus ordered the Frontex pilots to change course away from the dinghy. The Frontex team leader asked if there was a particular reason for the change in course. “Negative,” came the response from the Greeks.

      At 3:15 a.m., the Frontex plane began running low on fuel. The pilot took one last image, which showed the refugees alone at sea, a few hundred meters from the Turkish coast. No Turkish units were in the area, the pilot reported. The dinghy, he reported, had no motor and the Greek Coast Guard had sailed off. The refugees, including four children, were only rescued the next morning at 6:52 a.m. by the Turkish Navy.

      The Greek Coast Guard has been systematically conducting pushbacks for several months. They stop refugee boats in Greek territorial waters and sometimes destroy their motors before then towing them back toward Turkey. “Aggressive surveillance,” is the official term the government in Athens has come up with to describe the practice. In fact, it is illegal.

      Frontex regulations require Leggeri to suspend missions when he learns of rights violations of a serious nature or that are likely to persist. His forces, after all, are supposed to protect human rights. But Leggeri insists that he has no reliable information about pushbacks in his possession – despite the fact that DER SPIEGEL and its reporting partners have exhaustively documented how Frontex units were nearby during at least seven illegal pushback operations.

      During their operations, Frontex personnel are under the command of Greek border officials. Already last March, a Greek liaison officer ordered a Danish Frontex unit to abandon a group of intercepted refugees at sea, according to internal emails that DER SPIEGEL has reviewed. Nevertheless, Frontex decided nothing was wrong and closed the matter within a day. Later, in testimony he delivered before the European Parliament, Leggeri claimed the incident had merely been a misunderstanding.

      The pushback that took place off Lesbos in the night of April 18-19 was exhaustively documented by Frontex officers themselves. There is a strong belief “that presented facts support an allegation of possible violation of Fundamental Rights or international protection obligations such as the principle of non-refoulement,” reads an internal Frontex report that DER SPIEGEL has obtained.

      The case was apparently so sensitive that Leggeri took personal control over the investigation and did not, as was standard procedure, delegate it to his Fundamental Rights Officer. On May 8, he wrote to Ioannis Plakiotakis, the Greek minister of maritime affairs, a letter that DER SPIEGEL has obtained. In it, Leggeri voiced his concern and requested an internal investigation. The observance of human rights, particularly the principle of non-refoulement, is an “ultimate requirement” of the Frontex mission, he wrote.

      The answer from the Greek government is a smorgasbord of attempts to explain it away. Migration flows in the Aegean represent a “hybrid nature threat,” the response reads. Because of the corona crisis, it continues, it is more important than ever to prevent illegal border crossings and none of the migrants had requested asylum. According to an initial assessment by Greek officials, the letter claims, none of those on board were in particular need of protection.

      Legal experts see the Greek response as worthless. “The Greek Coast Guard without a doubt committed a human rights violation in the case,” says Dana Schmalz, an international law expert with the Max Planck Institute in Heidelberg. From her perspective, it is a clear case of an illegal pushback. It is impossible, she says, to determine if someone needs protection or if they are faced with danger back in Turkey on board a rickety dinghy. Individual proceedings conducted on land are necessary to make such a determination, she says. Furthermore, she continues, the Greek Coast Guard put the migrants’ lives in danger by abandoning them at sea in a dinghy without a motor.

      But Leggeri was satisfied with the report. The verdict: There was no pushback, there were no human rights violations. The head of Frontex silently buried the incident. “There have been several occasions when Leggeri has not provided us with adequate information,” says Tineke Strik, a member of European Parliament from the Netherlands.

      When reached for comment, Frontex said the Greek government had not ascertained any human rights violations. The agency has to rely on national authorities to investigate such incidents, Frontex insisted, since it is not authorized to undertake such investigations itself.

      Frontex officials are actually required to report incidents where they suspect that human rights violations may have occurred, so-called “Serious Incident Reports.” But such reports are hardly ever written. For years, Frontex officials have followed the example of their boss Leggeri: When in doubt, keep quiet.

      Insiders describe the rules as a kind of omertà, a code of silence. Hardly anyone is willing to risk their career or cause problems for their host country. In one case, an official even tried to prevent a Swedish colleague from submitting a Serious Incident Report, the head of Swedish border control told the Frontex Management Board.

      A German federal police officer is one of the few willing to dissent, though he has asked that we not publish his real name. On Nov. 28, 2020, his first day on a Frontex mission on the Greek island of Samos, an article from DER SPIEGEL popped up on his mobile phone. The story was about the Uckermark, the ship on which he was scheduled to serve that very evening. The article reported that the Germans had stopped a refugee boat on August 10 and handed it over to the Greek Coast Guard, which then proceeded to abandon the refugees at sea.

      The federal policeman went to his commanding officer and said he couldn’t participate in such operations and essentially said he didn’t want to be an accessory to any legal transgressions. Later, he sent an explanation around to his comrades via WhatsApp: “I have decided for me personally that I cannot tolerate the measures taken by the Greeks and certainly cannot support them.”

      His commanding officer responded a few minutes later: “The fact is that our actions are legal! Covered by the Frontex mandate.” He apparently was referring to the requirement to obey orders from the Greek Coast Guard.

      The German Federal Police does not contradict the man’s account, but when contacted, the force denied having taken part in any legal violations. The policeman himself, however, had a different view of the situation. He refused to take part in the mission, preferring instead to stay on land. He says he will never again volunteer to take part in a Frontex mission.

      Dodgy Business: How Leggeri Landed in the Sights of the European Anti-Fraud Office

      The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) always gets involved when there are suspicions that EU financial interests have been violated. And recently, OLAF opened an investigation into Frontex. On Dec. 7, OLAF officials searched Frontex headquarters in Warsaw, including the offices belonging to Leggeri and to Head of Cabinet Thibauld de La Haye Jousselin.

      Leggeri has yet to comment publicly on the investigation. According to members of the German parliament, the Bundestag, Leggeri testified before the Committee on Internal Affairs in January in Berlin and said that the inquiry had to do with the pushback accusations and that he couldn’t say any more. That, though, is at best only half true.

      DER SPIEGEL has learned that the investigation has a much broader scope than that. For weeks, OLAF officials have been summoning witnesses and interrogating Frontex staff members.

      One focus of the investigation is apparently a possible case of fraud. A Polish IT company sold the agency a business software solution that cost hundreds of thousands of euros, in part for the training of border guards. Frontex employees complained to their superiors, however, that the software didn’t work well. But the agency nevertheless paid most of the negotiated purchase price. According to documentation DER SPEIGEL has seen, employees informed management in 2018 that the inconsistencies in the case could amount to fraud.

      Leggeri, too, learned of the allegations, and an internal investigation was undertaken. “But according to EU regulations, the Frontex director is required to immediately report potential cases of fraud to OLAF,” says Valentina Azarova of the Manchester International Law Centre. Frontex declined to comment on the OLAF investigation. The Polish software company in question insisted that it has thus far correctly fulfilled all of its contractual obligations to Frontex. And the company is still getting contracts from the European border agency, some of them worth millions.

      The OLAF investigators are also apparently interested in suspicions of workplace harassment at Frontex. They hope to find out if Leggeri or his head of cabinet have yelled at or otherwise harassed agency employees. They are also investigating whether staff members were ordered to withhold information from Fundamental Rights Officer Arnáez and her successor – and if so, by whom.

      OLAF emphasizes that the presumption of innocence still applies, despite the inquiry, explaining that the existence of the investigation offers no proof that anything untoward took place. But there are apparently serious indications of personal misconduct on the part of Leggeri. The collection of questions being asked by investigators indicate significant doubts about his leadership style.

      In Brussels, some refer to Leggeri as “Fabrice Teflon,” with the Frontex boss having thus far survived despite accusations of mismanagement and allegations that his agency was involved in pushbacks. Now, though, the pressure has been cranked up.

      European Commissioner Johansson has more or less made it clear that she no longer considers Leggeri to be tenable in his position. “It has been difficult to keep track of the missteps,” says a high-ranking Commission official. “The priority must be on the long-term reputation of the agency. But it has been hard to reconcile recent actions with that aim.”

      It is not, however, up to the European Commission to decide Leggeri’s fate. That is a decision that must be made by the Frontex Management Board. The board is essentially made up of representatives from those countries that are part of the Schengen Area, with the Commission having just two deputies on the board. EU member states have always thrown their support behind Leggeri in the past. And many of them are likely pleased by the occasionally ruthless methods employed by Frontex to prevent asylum-seekers from crossing into the EU, believes Giulia Laganà, a migration expert with the Open Society European Policy Institute.

      The question is whether the Management Board will continue to back Leggeri once the accusations of workplace harassment and even potential fraud are made public. The European Parliament has already announced its intention to conduct a four-month inquiry into the agency, with the investigation’s mandate having been kept intentionally broad. Leggeri’s leadership style and the workplace atmosphere at Frontex are to be included in the inquiry.

      Even Leggeri’s own staff members in Warsaw have begun wondering how long their boss will continue to cling to his post. “OLAF is onto us, morale is down,” says one official. “I wonder why he doesn’t just leave.”

      https://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/missteps-and-mismanagement-at-frontex-scandals-plunge-europe-s-border-agency

    • Frontex, l’Agence européenne de garde-frontières, à nouveau mise en cause pour ses liens avec des lobbyistes

      Premier corps armé en uniforme de l’Union européenne, l’organisme n’aurait pas déclaré ses liens avec des lobbyistes de l’industrie de la surveillance et de l’armement.

      De nouvelles accusations contre Frontex ont été lancées, vendredi 5 février, par la chaîne publique allemande ZDF, laquelle a, avec la collaboration de l’ONG Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO), mené une enquête sur les liens entre l’Agence européenne de garde-frontières et l’industrie de la surveillance et de l’armement.

      Des dizaines de documents, auxquels Le Monde a également eu accès, démontrent des infractions aux règles des institutions européennes sur le lobbying, un défaut de transparence et une absence quasi complète de préoccupation pour le respect des droits humains. Ce dernier point était déjà au cœur d’un débat récent sur le rôle du corps européen dans des « pushbacks », des refoulements illégaux de migrants, en Grèce et en Hongrie notamment.

      Dotée d’un budget en forte hausse (6 millions d’euros lors de sa création en 2005, 460 millions en 2020, 5,6 milliards prévus pour 2021-2027) et d’un effectif qui devrait atteindre 10 000 personnes à terme, Frontex, premier corps armé en uniforme de l’Union européenne (UE), effectue actuellement des missions de sauvetage et de surveillance, en appui des forces nationales. Elle lutte aussi contre divers trafics et participe aux expulsions des migrants irréguliers.

      Mais l’agence est, en réalité, en train de devenir un véritable corps de police appelé à se doter de nombreux équipements : armes, radars, drones, systèmes de vérification des documents et de reconnaissance faciale, véhicules, avions, etc.
      Profiter des opportunités

      Devient-elle, du même coup, une sorte d’acteur du secteur de la sécurité et de l’armement ? Et échappe-t-elle au contrôle démocratique, celui du Parlement européen notamment, qui, en 2019, exigeait de l’institution dirigée par le Français Fabrice Leggeri la mise au point d’un « registre transparence », conforme aux pratiques des autres institutions de l’UE ? Ce sont les questions posées par les investigateurs de la ZDF et de CEO, qui ont examiné les dernières années de fonctionnement de l’institution installée à Varsovie.

      Le registre, qui était réclamé par les eurodéputés, devait notamment recenser l’ensemble des réunions tenues avec des représentants des entreprises. Il est « en préparation », dit-on chez Frontex. Et il ne devrait pas satisfaire les attentes : en 2018 et 2019, indiquent des documents de CEO, 91 des 125 lobbyistes reçus par Frontex (soit 72 %) n’étaient pas inscrits au registre européen de la transparence, comme le veulent pourtant les règles fixées pour les institutions de l’UE.

      Idem pour 58 % des entreprises consultées. Sur une application créée pour centraliser les demandes de contacts, aucune demande ne leur est d’ailleurs formulée quant à leur inscription dans ce registre. Etonnamment, le service de presse de Frontex affirme de son côté que l’agence « ne rencontre pas de lobbyistes ».

      Il semble évident, pourtant, que le secteur de la défense entend profiter des opportunités offertes par le développement des missions et des moyens de l’agence. Le programme Horizon 2020 avait déjà affecté 118 millions d’euros au développement de la recherche en lien avec le projet de « Sécurité aux frontières extérieures » de l’UE. Un fonds avait, lui, été doté de 2,8 milliards d’euros pour la période 2018-2020. Et la nécessité d’équiper Frontex a évidemment aiguisé un peu plus les appétits des acteurs du marché mondial du « border control », qui enfle de 8 % chaque année et frôle désormais les 20 milliards d’euros.
      « Surveillance agressive »

      L’agence dirigée par M. Leggeri est-elle sortie de son rôle en s’arrogeant un statut d’intermédiaire de fait entre l’industrie et des institutions européennes soucieuses de conjurer à tout prix le risque de nouveaux flux migratoires ? Serait-elle, même, devenue un acteur qui entend stimuler cette industrie, voire lui confier les rênes d’une politique à vocation essentiellement sécuritaire ?

      Avec son objectif de « faciliter la coopération entre les autorités de contrôle aux frontières, la recherche et l’industrie », Frontex a, en tout cas, multiplié les congrès, les rencontres et les « ateliers » où grands patrons, hauts fonctionnaires, mais aussi délégués des Etats membres échangent beaucoup. Sur des questions de technologie, de sécurité, de « surveillance agressive », mais rarement de droits humains.

      Déjà mise en cause pour avoir tardé à mettre en place un service interne chargé de la surveillance du respect des droits fondamentaux des migrants, l’agence n’aurait, en effet, presque jamais consulté le « Forum des droits fondamentaux » constitué à cette fin. Une organisation qui était membre du forum indique d’ailleurs n’avoir aucun souvenir d’un quelconque échange sur la question des droits et des libertés dans le cadre du lancement d’appels d’offres.

      « La protection des droits humains est un sujet trop important pour le sacrifier à la défense des intérêts de l’industrie », notent les responsables de l’ONG Corporate Europe Observatory

      Parmi les participants à des réunions, on a noté, en revanche, la présence de représentants de pays très critiqués pour leur politique à l’égard des migrants, comme la Bosnie-Herzégovine ou l’Australie. Des responsables du département américain de la Homeland Security ont été également conviés.

      « Les conclusions de tout cela sont extrêmement préoccupantes », notent les responsables de CEO. Ils déplorent une politique migratoire qui risque de reposer seulement sur une force de police armée et des techniques comme la surveillance biométrique. « La protection des droits humains est un sujet trop important pour le sacrifier à la défense des intérêts de l’industrie », relèvent-ils.

      « Nous vivons une métamorphose du rôle de Frontex. Il faut en prendre la mesure et s’y habituer », affirmait, vendredi, M. Leggeri, interrogé par Europe 1. On ne sait pas si Ylva Johansson, la commissaire européenne aux affaires intérieures, qui demande que la confiance en Frontex soit « entièrement rétablie », approuvera totalement ce propos.

      https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2021/02/05/nouvelles-accusations-contre-frontex-l-agence-europeenne-des-gardes-frontier

    • PUSHBACK REPORT 2020

      VIOLENCE IS INCREASING – IN #2020 MARE LIBERUM COUNTED AT LEAST 9,000 PEOPLE ILLEGALLY PUSHED BACK

      #Mare_Liberum monitors the current human rights situation in the Aegean Sea using its own ships. As independent observers, we conduct research in order to document and publicise circumstances at the European border. Since March 2020, Mare Liberum has witnessed a dramatic increase in human rights violations in the Aegean, both at sea and on land. Illegal pushbacks, in which those fleeing and migrating people are pushed back across a national border, play an especially crucial role. Over the past year in particular, pushbacks have become an inhumane everyday reality for people on the move. Pushbacks happen almost daily at the Greek-Turkish border and in 2020 alone, we counted 321 pushbacks in the Aegean Sea, with some 9,798 people pushed back.

      Although pushbacks have demonstrably been carried out at the EU’s external border for years, media attention has now increased notably, especially in recent months. News magazines such as Der Spiegel and the research collective Bellingcat have been able to publicly demonstrate how the Hellenic Coast Guard forcibly pushes those seeking protection back to Turkey, thereby violating international, European and national law. The European Border and Coast Guard Agency Frontex, as has become all too clear, not only turns a blind eye to illegal repatriation operations, but rather actively and systematically participates.

      Within the framework of the annual report, we seek to adopt a perspective on pushbacks that looks at the long-term development of these practices at the EU’s external border. The comprehensive documentation of pushbacks forms the basis of the report and is an essential part of our monitoring work in the Aegean. Beyond the mere counting of pushbacks, our work also includes the collection of relevant information on the persons affected by pushbacks, practices by the responsible actors and related geographical data. We have gained deeper insights into these issues by conducting interviews with people who have themselves been pushed back at the Greek-Turkish border.

      https://mare-liberum.org/en/pushback-report

    • NEW REPORT ON CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY IN THE AEGEAN

      Since March 2020, collective expulsions in the Aegean Sea have been perpetrated with impunity.

      Legal Centre Lesvos’ new report contributes to the growing body of evidence, media coverage, civil society reports and other investigations which have documented how Greek authorities are deliberately and systematically abandoning hundreds of migrants in the middle of the Aegean sea, without means to call for rescue, on unseaworthy, motorless dinghies and liferafts. It is intended to serve as a resource for survivors of collective expulsions and solidarity actors.

      Following the Legal Centre Lesvos’ first report, the present report is based on evidence shared by over fifty survivors of collective expulsions, and underscores the widespread, systematic and violent nature of this attack against migrants. Beyond being egregious violations of international, European and national human rights law, this report argues that the constituent elements of the modus operandi of collective expulsions in the Aegean amount to crimes against humanity within the definition of Article 7 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

      Despite overwhelming evidence of collective expulsions in the Aegean, the national and European response has been to turn a blind eye: failing to even attempt to hold the responsible Greek authorities to account, let alone other public and private actors directly or indirectly involved. On the contrary, the European Commission has praised the violent “border and migration management” practices implemented in Greece and underwritten its support with substantial financial and material assistance. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic which prevented Greece carrying out “official” deportations to Turkey, collective expulsions have conveniently served as an unofficial implementation of the “EU-Turkey Deal” and other bilateral “readmission” agreements with Turkey, which form part of fortress Europe’s border externalisation drive.

      There are only so many times legal and civil society actors can list and table such human rights violations and be met with deafening silence and inaction before this itself becomes evidence of Greek and European liability for collective expulsions as an egregious attack on migrants’ lives. Such inaction also reveals how migrants’ lives are increasingly treated as disposable, in a manner that has historically accompanied the commission of atrocity crimes.

      While the systematic violence of pushbacks in the Aegean is scandalous, it is also the logical endpoint of a dehumanising and punitive European border regime that has systematically obstructed access to territory and the right to asylum by prioritising and funding the ‘hotspot’ containment system, accelerated procedures, detention, deportations, border militarisation and externalisation through deals of questionable legality with third countries; as well as by prosecuting migrants and solidarity actors in a manner that successfully obscures Europe’s own violent, imperialist role in many of the reasons people migrate.

      The absence of serious investigations, let alone practical steps to redress violations are a clear sign that collective expulsions form part of a Greek and European migration policy: instrumentalising human suffering in acts of spectacular state violence for the purpose of deterring migration, at any cost.

      In this context, it is important to ask what justice might look like for survivors of crimes against humanity in the Aegean, many of whom experience ongoing psychological trauma and distress as a result of these crimes. Survivors who have been in contact with the Legal Centre Lesvos have spoken about justice in terms of being able to safely reach Europe. Justice for collective expulsions as crimes against humanity must therefore include safe and legal routes to Europe, as well as defunding, demilitarising and dismantling Europe’s violent border regime.

      https://legalcentrelesvos.org/2021/02/01/crimesagainstumanityintheaegean

      #crimes_contre_l'humanité

      pour télécharger le rapport :
      legalcentrelesvos.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Collective-Expulsions-in-the-Aegean-LCL-01.02.2021-1.pdf

    • UE : Frontex accusée d’incarner l’« Europe forteresse »

      Soupçons de refoulements illégaux de migrants et de bafouement des droits fondamentaux, l’agence Frontex est dans la tourmente. Au point de diviser la Commission européenne.

      C’est potentiellement ce que les Anglo-Saxons appellent la « tempête parfaite », la « poly polémique » qui couve chez Frontex, l’Agence européenne de garde-frontières et de garde-côtes.

      Entre les accusations de fermer les yeux ou de participer à des refoulements illégaux de migrants, l’enquête de l’Office anti-fraude sur des allégations de harcèlement et d’inconduite ayant poussé des responsables à quitter l’agence ou l’absence, à ce jour, de recrutement des quarante agents chargés de veiller au respect des droits fondamentaux, Frontex accumule les tuiles.

      Après l’enquête de la médiatrice européenne, qui s’est aussi penchée sur son cas, c’est le Parlement européen qui s’en mêle. Outre la mise en place d’un « groupe d’enquête permanent », les eurodéputés ont aussi refusé, fin de la semaine dernière, d’octroyer « la décharge budgétaire » à l’agence, nous explique l’élue belge Saskia Bricmont (Ecolo). « Chaque année, le Parlement a un pouvoir de contrôle budgétaire. Donner la décharge, cela signifie qu’on considère que Frontex a accompli ses missions, a respecté le cadre légal et a donc droit au budget suivant », explique-t-elle. En commission des libertés civiles, de la justice et des affaires intérieures, les eurodéputés ont donc décidé de reporter de six mois cette décharge, une décision qui doit être validée en plénière mais que « tous les groupes politiques » soutiennent, ajoute l’élue. D’ici là, il est principalement attendu de Frontex qu’elle recrute les agents chargés de défendre en interne les droits fondamentaux.
      Mandat et budget élargis

      Depuis cinq ans, le mandat de l’agence a été élargi considérablement. Ses effectifs multipliés. En 2016, Frontex se félicitait du fait qu’elle emploierait 1500 agents à l’horizon 2020. Elle devrait être à 10.000 d’ici 2027, pour un budget de plus de cinq milliards sur sept ans, contre une enveloppe annuelle de 19 millions il y a quinze ans.

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      Car pour Fabrice Leggeri, le patron de Frontex, les critiques trouvent bien leur source dans ce renforcement des pouvoirs de l’agence. « Pour la première fois, une agence cesse d’être un objet simplement administratif européen, mais a du personnel sur le terrain. C’est une responsabilité d’autant plus grande que nous avons l’usage de la force, sous l’autorité et le contrôle des Etats, et qu’il y a bien sûr des contrepoids, les droits fondamentaux. C’est tout à fait normal que cela suscite des réactions, parce que c’est inhabituel », a-t-il expliqué la semaine dernière lors d’un événement organisé par la Fondation Robert Schuman. « Il peut y avoir des retards de mise en œuvre de certaines choses, tout ne sera certainement pas parfait. Il faut utiliser cette période où il y a beaucoup de questionnements sur l’agence pour expliquer, faire de la pédagogie », a-t-il ajouté.

      A ses côtés, le vice-président de la commission en charge de la Promotion du mode de vie européen, Margaritis Schinas, a évoqué la tentative de « quelques milieux » de bâtir « un narratif qui affaiblit Frontex au moment où nous avons le plus besoin de l’agence. Ça, je ne l’accepterai jamais ». Un ton qui contraste avec celui de sa collègue aux Affaires intérieures, Ylva Johansson, qui a démenti fin janvier les explications données par Leggeri pour justifier le retard de l’embauche des 40 agents pour les droits fondamentaux.

      Selon le quotidien français Le Monde, François Xavier-Bellamy, chef de la délégation Les Républicains au sein du groupe du Parti populaire européen (PPE, conservateurs) du Parlement européen, a écrit à Ylva Johansson en évoquant de sa part une tentative de déstabilisation voire de procès politique envers Fabrice Leggeri.
      Pas en ligne sur le lobbying

      S’ajoutent à tout cela les accusations de relations troubles avec l’industrie de l’armement et de la biométrie (par exemple, la reconnaissance faciale), étudiées de long en large par l’ONG Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) le mois dernier. Cette dernière estime que l’élargissement des compétences de Frontex et son besoin d’équipement neuf (y compris en matière de défense) ont été une aubaine pour ces industries.

      Entre 2017 et 2019, Frontex a rencontré pas moins de 108 entreprises pour discuter d’armes à feu et de munitions, d’équipements de surveillance etc. Contre dix think tanks, 15 universités et seulement une ONG. Dans les procès-verbaux de ces réunions obtenus par CEO grâce à des demandes d’accès aux documents, elle a pu constater que les droits fondamentaux figuraient rarement à l’agenda. « Sans surprise, il y a des chevauchements significatifs entre les entreprises qui font du lobbying à Frontex et celles qui bénéficient le plus des marchés publics » de l’agence, explique l’ONG.

      En outre, l’agence ne publie pas toutes ses rencontres et voit majoritairement (72 %) des représentants du privé qui ne sont pas enregistrés dans le registre de transparence de l’UE. Frontex s’en est défendu en répondant qu’elle ne faisait pas l’objet de lobbying, compte tenu du fait qu’elle n’est pas impliquée dans le processus législatif européen. Alors, acharnement ou véritable scandale ? L’enquête des eurodéputés devrait permettre d’y voir clair. C’est aussi l’avis/l’espoir de Fabrice Leggeri, qui a jusqu’ici résisté aux appels à la démission.

      https://plus.lesoir.be/358143/article/2021-03-01/ue-frontex-accusee-dincarner-leurope-forteresse

    • La droite française au secours de Fabrice Leggeri, patron de Frontex

      Le groupe #LR au Parlement européen critique la « tentative de déstabilisation » à laquelle se livrerait la commissaire Ylva Johansson à l’égard du directeur de l’agence.

      Le torchon brûle entre la commissaire européenne aux affaires intérieures et à la migration, #Ylva_Johansson, et la droite française. Dans une lettre au ton cinglant adressée vendredi 26 février à l’ancienne ministre sociale-démocrate suédoise et lue par Le Monde, #François_Xavier-Bellamy, chef de la délégation #Les_Républicains (LR) au sein du groupe du #Parti_populaire_européen (#PPE, conservateurs) interroge la commissaire. Et il parle de « tentative de déstabilisation », de « divergence de fond », voire de « procès politique » que la commissaire instruirait contre Fabrice Leggeri, le directeur exécutif de l’agence des gardes-frontières et gardes-côtes Frontex.

      Ce responsable français est sur la sellette depuis des mois. Pour des refoulements illégaux de migrants (pushbacks) qu’aurait favorisés l’agence. Pour des retards dans le recrutement d’une quarantaine d’officiers chargés précisément de veiller au respect des droits fondamentaux par les agents de Frontex. Pour d’apparentes réticences à se conformer à des règles administratives en matière budgétaire. Ou encore pour ne pas avoir souscrit à des obligations de transparence en ce qui concerne des réunions avec des lobbys et des responsables de l’industrie de la défense et de la surveillance.

      Le groupe socialiste du Parlement a demandé la démission du numéro un de Frontex

      Ce dernier point n’est pas mentionné dans la lettre de M. Bellamy et l’entourage de Mme Johansson semble, par ailleurs, considérer qu’il n’y a pas de quoi mettre en cause M. Leggeri pour ces contacts, dénoncés notamment par l’ONG #Corporate_Europe_Observatory. Sur les autres questions, en revanche, la commissaire a demandé des explications. Et le groupe socialiste du Parlement a demandé la démission du numéro un de Frontex. En décembre, la responsable de la direction générale des affaires intérieures de la Commission adressait, elle, une longue lettre à M. Leggeri, avec, à la clé, de nombreux griefs.

      Demande de preuves

      Les élus LR volent, eux, au secours du directeur et demandent très fermement des explications à la commissaire. Quelles preuves a-t-elle, interrogent-ils, quand elle accuse M. Leggeri de ne pas se conformer aux directives budgétaires, comme elle l’a fait le 22 février dans la commission de contrôle du Parlement ? Sans éléments incontestables, cela pourrait s’apparenter à une volonté de déstabiliser le patron de l’agence, estiment-ils.

      A propos des refoulements illégaux de migrants, les eurodéputés français endossent les explications livrées jusqu’ici par Frontex : sur treize épisodes douteux, huit ont été jugés conformes par un groupe de travail constitué par la Commission. Cinq autres cas sont encore à l’examen, sur lesquels Mme Johansson a exigé « toutes les explications nécessaires ».

      La Turquie est soupçonnée d’être à l’origine d’informations sur les refoulements illégaux de migrants

      M. Bellamy lui demande à son tour si elle a répondu à un courrier qui lui a été adressé en novembre par M. Leggeri, et dans lequel il réclamait des instructions claires quant à l’attitude à adopter à l’égard de la Turquie. Celle-ci, qui a orienté massivement des migrants vers la Grèce et la Bulgarie en mars 2020, est aussi soupçonnée par certaines sources d’être à l’origine d’informations sur les refoulements illégaux de migrants.
      « Reproches infondés »

      Le groupe LR, qui bénéficie du soutien tacite d’autres élus du PPE, exige, dès lors, de disposer de tous les échanges entre Frontex et la Commission. La lettre se termine par des questions sur l’éventuel désaccord entre la commissaire Johansson et Frontex au sujet des missions mêmes de l’agence.

      Relayant l’idée que la commissaire serait partisane des « frontières ouvertes » – ce qu’elle conteste – les eurodéputés lui demandent s’il y a, de sa part, « un désaccord de fond » sur la stratégie actuelle de la Commission von der Leyen, qui vise à garantir le « mode de vie européen » ? A savoir la maîtrise des frontières, la lutte contre l’immigration clandestine et la contribution à « la sécurité intérieure ».

      « En instruisant un procès politique au moyen de reproches infondés, vous prendriez le risque de violer les principes fondamentaux de l’Etat de droit, de salir des fonctionnaires intègres et loyaux, de fragiliser la cohérence de l’action européenne », conclut la lettre. Contacté dimanche, le cabinet de Mme Johansson a déclaré avoir reçu la lettre mais ne pas souhaiter réagir immédiatement.

      https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2021/03/01/la-droite-francaise-au-secours-de-fabrice-leggeri-patron-de-frontex_6071549_

    • Un rapport d’enquête interne peu concluant sur le rôle de Frontex dans des refoulements illégaux de migrants

      Le document présenté lundi s’abstient d’impliquer des membres de l’Agence européenne de garde-frontières et garde-côtes dans des incidents en mer Egée.

      Un long rapport, lu par Le Monde et présenté, le 1er mars, par un groupe de travail désigné par le conseil d’administration de Frontex, confirme qu’il ne sera décidément pas simple, voire pas possible, de démontrer que des membres de l’Agence européenne de garde-frontières et garde-côtes ont été impliqués dans des « pushbacks » en mer Egée, des refoulements illégaux de migrants.

      Ce document final, pourtant très attendu, n’apporte aucune conclusion déterminante. D’autant que, sur quatre des cinq incidents encore jugés litigieux (huit ont été classés en janvier), l’enquête se poursuit.

      Sur la base des informations qui lui ont été livrées, le groupe de travail, composé de représentants de diverses institutions européennes et d’Etats membres, formule quelques recommandations qui peuvent être lues comme des critiques implicites du fonctionnement actuel de Frontex. Il prône ainsi une amélioration des rapports et de la surveillance des missions, une utilisation systématique de la vidéo, la recension de toute possible violation des droits humains et la suspension de l’aide apportée aux pays qui ne les respecteraient pas.
      Situations douteuses

      Pour le reste, la liste des « incidents » qui se seraient déroulés entre le 18 avril et le 21 octobre 2020 ne mentionne que les soupçons, parfois lourds mais jugés insuffisants, qui pèsent plutôt, en réalité, sur les gardes-côtes grecs et la marine turque, qui agissent aux limites des eaux territoriales des deux pays. Embarcations chassées, menacées, remorquées : dans certains cas, un navire suédois ou un avion danois mis à la disposition de l’agence ont recensé des situations douteuses, mais le groupe de travail conclut qu’il semble « impossible de les élucider entièrement ». D’autant que ce sont les autorités nationales qui assurent le commandement des opérations.

      Le rapport tient à souligner cependant l’importance de la mission de Frontex, présentée comme la « principale garantie de frontières solides et protégées ». Il y est rappelé aussi que, grâce aux interventions de Frontex, 28 000 personnes ont été sauvées en 2019 et près de 3 000 en 2020, tandis que 10 433 illégaux et 84 trafiquants étaient arrêtés. A propos des incidents considérés comme des « pushbacks » par des journalistes et des ONG, le document invite à considérer qu’aucun décès, aucune disparition et aucune blessure n’y seraient liés.

      Fabrice Leggeri, le directeur exécutif de l’agence, qui doit être entendu jeudi 4 mars par un comité spécial du Parlement européen, pourra se prévaloir de ces conclusions face aux diverses accusations dont il faitl’objet. L’Office de lutte antifraude (OLAF) et la médiatrice de l’Union européenne enquêtent aussi sur la gestion de l’agence, basée à Varsovie, tandis que la commissaire européenne aux affaires intérieures, Ylva Johansson, a réclamé toutes les explications sur l’action en mer Egée.
      Action de la Turquie

      M. Leggeri soulignera sans doute, jeudi, qu’il espère obtenir de la Commission qu’elle lui indique les lignes directrices précises qu’il doit suivre en ce qui concerne, notamment, l’action de la Turquie. Dans les considérations qu’il a formulées à destination du groupe de travail de son conseil d’administration, il rappelle d’ailleurs que les autorités d’Ankara entendent utiliser la migration comme un « levier politique » et il souligne que la Grèce se dit soumise aux « menaces hybrides » du régime turc.

      Soutenu entre autres par la droite française au Parlement, le directeur de Frontex transforme ainsi le débat sur le rôle humanitaire de son agence en une question géostratégique, et il incite la Commission à se positionner par rapport à l’encombrant partenaire avec lequel elle a signé, en 2016, un accord visant à réduire les flux migratoires vers l’Europe.

      Pendant ce temps, la Ligue hellénique des droits de l’homme, l’ONG Legal Centre Lesvos et l’organisation juridique Front-Lex demandent à Frontex « de suspendre immédiatement ou de cesser » ses activités en mer Egée, sous peine d’une action devant la justice européenne. Legal Centre Lesvos aurait documenté, depuis mars 2020, 17 refoulements de plus de 50 migrants entre la Grèce et la Turquie. L’ONG estime aussi que l’agence a enfreint le droit européen et violé la convention de Genève de 1951 relative aux droits des réfugiés.

      Frontex est aussi taxée de complicité dans la « détention sommaire de migrants sur les îles de la mer Egée dans des ports, des bus, des navires, des plages où l’accès aux procédures d’asile leur a été refusé ». Le 12 février, l’ONG allemande Mare Liberum faisait état, pour sa part, d’une « escalade inédite » des refoulements de migrants en mer Egée impliquant Frontex en 2020.

      https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2021/03/03/un-rapport-d-enquete-interne-peu-concluant-sur-le-role-de-frontex-dans-des-r

    • Le patron de Frontex se défend devant les eurodéputés, Bruxelles maintient la pression

      Le patron de Frontex a souligné jeudi devant des eurodéputés qu’aucune « preuve » d’une implication de l’agence de surveillance des frontières de l’UE dans des refoulements illégaux de migrants n’avait été établie par une enquête, mais Bruxelles a réitéré ses critiques.

      Le patron de Frontex a souligné jeudi devant des eurodéputés qu’aucune « preuve » d’une implication de l’agence de surveillance des frontières de l’UE dans des refoulements illégaux de migrants n’avait été établie par une enquête, mais Bruxelles a réitéré ses critiques.

      Ce rapport interne, qui doit être examiné vendredi par le conseil d’administration de Frontex et consulté mercredi par l’AFP, n’a pas permis de « clarifier complètement » les circonstances de plusieurs incidents au cours desquels des refoulements de migrants auraient eu lieu. Il préconise d’ailleurs d’améliorer le système de signalement et de surveillance des missions de l’agence.

      « Il n’y a pas eu de faits étayés ou prouvés pour aboutir à la conclusion que Frontex aurait participé ou se serait livrée à des violations des droits fondamentaux », a déclaré son directeur exécutif, Fabrice Leggeri, devant un groupe d’eurodéputés qui a ouvert sa propre enquête sur ces incidents.

      L’agence est montrée du doigt depuis la publication en octobre 2020 d’une enquête de plusieurs médias l’accusant d’être impliquée avec les garde-côtes grecs dans des incidents de refoulement de bateaux de migrants à la frontière entre la Grèce et la Turquie.

      Ces accusations ont également entraîné une enquête du gendarme européen antifraude, l’Olaf, ainsi que de la médiatrice de l’UE.

      La Commission européenne, membre du conseil d’administration de Frontex aux côtés des 27 Etats membres, s’est montrée critique sur la gestion de l’agence, fustigeant notamment la lenteur du recrutement des officiers chargés de surveiller le respect des droits fondamentaux et des agents devant constituer le nouveau contingent permanent.

      Créée en 2004, Frontex a vu son mandat renforcé en 2019. Elle doit se doter d’agents en uniforme et armés, employés directement par l’agence, et non plus mis à disposition provisoirement par les Etats membres.

      Le directeur exécutif a notamment dit qu’un officier et 40 « moniteurs » chargés de veiller au respect des droits fondamentaux étaient en cours de recrutement et que 300 officiers du contingent permanent étaient déployés sur le terrain ou allaient l’être la semaine prochaine.

      La commissaire européenne aux Affaires intérieures Ylva Johansson a toutefois souligné que 700 officiers auraient dû être déployés en janvier.

      Elle a aussi estimé que les « clarifications » sur les accusations de refoulements n’avaient que « trop tardé », et que ce délai n’était « pas bon pour la réputation et la confiance » dans Frontex.

      « Une agence de première classe a besoin d’une gouvernance de première classe », a-t-elle poursuivi, se réjouissant toutefois d’« entendre que beaucoup de choses sont en train d’être réglées ».

      Si des eurodéputés à gauche ont demandé la démission de Fabrice Leggeri, la droite française au Parlement européen a quant à elle pris la défense du patron de Frontex.

      Dans une lettre adressée le 26 février à la responsable suédoise, le président de la délégation française du groupe PPE (droite) François-Xavier Bellamy lui a demandé des « justifications solides et vérifiées » à ses « accusations », dénonçant une « tentative de déstabilisation » du chef de Frontex et « un procès politique ».

      https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/fil-dactualites/040321/le-patron-de-frontex-se-defend-devant-les-eurodeputes-bruxelles-maintient-

    • Greece accused of ‘shocking’ illegal pushback against refugees at sea

      Lawsuit filed at European court of human rights says group were abandoned in life rafts after some were beaten.

      A lawsuit filed against the Greek state at the European court of human rights accuses Athens of a shocking level of violence in sophisticated inter-agency operations that form part of an illegal pushback strategy to stop the arrival of refugees and migrants.

      The suit, filed by the NGO Legal Centre Lesvos, centres on an incident in October last year in which a fishing boat set off from Marmaris in Turkey for Italy carrying about 200 people, including 40 children and a pregnant woman. The boat ran into difficulty in a storm off the south coast of Crete, leading the captain to radio for assistance.

      The legal case claims that in an operation of unprecedented size and sophistication, instead of helping the stranded people onboard, a Greek search and rescue vessel and two small patrol boats stalled the smuggler’s boat for five hours until speedboats carrying masked commandos arrived. Several passengers claim they were beaten in the ensuing incident.

      Those onboard were separated into two groups and taken to two large coastguard boats, where armed crews of between 10 and 15 men, most wearing balaclavas, searched them and confiscated belongings including phones, passports and money.

      The passengers were then reportedly forced on to several small life rafts, towed back to Turkish waters and abandoned at sea without food, water, life jackets or any means to call for help. By the time they were picked up by the Turkish coastguard, their ordeal had lasted more than 24 hours.

      “It was like watching a movie. The men from the speedboats jumped onboard screaming and shouting, they all had guns and knives and were wearing black and masks,” said Mahmoud, a witness from Syria whose name has been changed.

      “They began beating people with batons, looking for the captain. They punched me in the face and broke my glasses … I understand they don’t want us, but you could send us back to Turkey without the need for violence. When they cut us loose on the rafts we all thought we were going to die,” he said.

      The lawsuit claims the practice of “pushbacks” has become standard for the Greek coastguard since March 2020, when Turkey, in an effort to pressure the EU, told its 4 million registered refugees that it would no longer stop them trying to reach Europe as per a 2016 deal between Ankara and Brussels.

      Athens reacted by temporarily halting all new asylum applications and allegedly employing increasingly brutal tactics to dissuade people in Turkey from making the journey.

      Exact figures are difficult to verify, but rights groups and journalists have recorded hundreds of alleged pushback incidents over the last 12 months. In most cases, people trying to cross the Aegean have been intercepted and towed back to Turkish waters. They are then cut loose either in their own boats, after the Greek coastguard has disabled their engines, or on overcrowded life rafts.

      On several occasions people claim to have been pushed back after landing on Greek soil, and passengers have been abandoned on an uninhabited Turkish islet at least twice, according to reporting by Der Spiegel, Lighthouse Reports and the New York Times.

      In at least one case, the EU border agency, Frontex, is accused of covering up evidence of a Greek pushback operation.

      These collective expulsions, as they are known, are illegal under international law but not under Greek national law. The Guardian’s requests for comment from Greek officials went unanswered. Greece has denied illegality in the past.

      The incident in October stands out because of the reported level of violence involved and the size and scope of the operation, which would have taken hours to coordinate and involved eight Greek vessels and two dozen crew from different agencies.

      “‘Pushback’ isn’t even really the right term. It’s a decision by the authorities to deliberately abandon people at sea putting their lives at risk, with no means to call for rescue and no chance at all to claim asylum,” said Natasha Ntailiani, a Legal Centre Lesvos lawyer representing some of the survivors before the ECHR.

      “It’s a new and disturbing trend characterised by planned and systematic violence, which has increased over the last year in the Aegean region. Even search and rescue vessels and materials are now being used against migrants, which is a remarkable insight into the lengths the Greek authorities are now willing to go to.”

      Testimony from 11 complainants and dozens of pages of collaborating evidence – including geo-located pictures and video, GPS coordinates, and phone and message logs from the ship’s radio, passengers, the Alarm Phone hotline and the Greek and Turkish coastguards – painted a complete and damning picture of the new tactics, the centre said.

      The suit is the fifth LCL has filed at the ECHR in recent years to allege violations of migrant and refugee rights in Greece. Progress is slow, but the applicants hope the latest case will persuade the court that pushbacks, despite the fact they are now reportedly a systemic and regular feature of Greek border policing, are illegal.

      A decision at the court last year that Spain did not breach the rights of two men it expelled from the Melilla enclave on the basis they had tried to enter illegally “as part of a large group” sets a worrying precedent.

      In light of the judgment, Frontex has since asked the European commission if it can refuse to process individual asylum claims if people are travelling in groups, as is often the case in the Aegean.

      “I didn’t even want to go to Greece. We knew that they were harming refugees when they arrive, but it was shocking to experience the reality, which is that Europe doesn’t care at all about human rights and dignity,” said Yara from Damascus, whose name has also been changed. She said she had been traumatised by her experiences on the day the storm hit the fishing boat.

      “Despite all of that, I will still try again. I can’t build a life in Syria or Turkey,” she said.

      Mahmoud echoed Yara’s thoughts. “I got kicked out of Qatar because of the pandemic. I would rather have stayed there,” he said. “If there was a legal way to get to Europe I would take it, but there isn’t. I don’t want to make that journey again, but I will, because I have to.”

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/apr/26/greece-accused-of-shocking-pushback-against-refugees-at-sea

    • Grèce : refoulements illégaux en Mer Egée

      En Grèce, les « pushbacks » ou refoulements illégaux de potentiels demandeurs d’asile par les garde-côtes grecs vers les eaux turques, se sont systématisés depuis un an.

      Le gouvernement grec se félicite d’avoir réussi à tenir une de ses promesses électorales : réduire le flux de migrants.

      La pratique est en infraction avec le droit maritime et l’obligation de porter assistance aux personnes en détresse en mer, mais aussi au regard du droit européen et international dont l’article 3 de la Convention des Droits de l’Homme stipule l’interdiction du refoulement des réfugiés.

      Informés, le Haut-Commissariat aux Réfugiés de l’ONU et des commissaires européens se disent “alarmés” mais semblent jusqu’à présent bien impuissants à faire respecter le droit d’asile par Athènes. Documentés et dénoncés par des avocats et des ONG internationales, ces refoulements illégaux révèlent des pratiques cruelles et cyniques. Mais rares sont les voix en Grèce à s’élever la voix contre ces renvois aux frontières de l’Europe.

      https://www.arte.tv/fr/videos/102791-000-A/grece-refoulements-illegaux-en-mer-egee
      #Samos

    • Message de Claire Rodier via la mailing-list Migreurop :

      Dans une interview au Guardian, Gil Arias Fernández, ancien directeur adjoint de Frontex a déclaré qu’il était profondément inquiet de l’atteinte à la réputation de l’agence, de sa décision d’armer les agents et de son incapacité à empêcher l’extrême droite d’infiltrer ses rangs, dans un contexte de mouvements anti-migrants en Europe.

      –—

      Frontex turning ‘blind eye’ to human rights violations, says former deputy

      The former deputy head of Europe’s border and coastguard agency has said the state of the beleaguered force “pains” him and that it is vulnerable to the “alarming” rise of populism across the continent.

      In his first interview since leaving office, #Gil_Arias_Fernández, former deputy director at Frontex and once tipped for the top post, said he was deeply worried about the agency’s damaged reputation, its decision to arm officers, and its inability to stop the far-right infiltrating its ranks, amid anti-migrant movements across Europe.

      “Weapons are not needed for Frontex operations,” he said. “They are more of a problem than a help.”

      Frontex is experiencing the most acute crisis in its 16-year history. The agency is being investigated by the European parliament over allegations of illegal pushbacks of migrants and refugees in the Mediterranean and its head, Fabrice Leggeri, is facing calls to quit over allegations he misled the EU commission. Leggeri has strongly rejected allegations about the agency’s operations.

      Arias Fernández, 65, now retired, lost out on the top role to Leggeri in 2015. He admits he did not get on with Leggeri when they worked together for a year.

      “From the first moment I saw that he had a perhaps excessive eagerness to change things. Maybe it was to put his personal stamp on things,” said Arias Fernández.

      He said decisions made by one of the EU’s most powerful agencies had led to complicity in human rights violations.

      “Frontex pains me,” he said. “Especially for the staff, because they don’t deserve what they are going through. We saw the agency as an instrument to help the member states and the migrants. These events put a dent in all that effort.

      “I do not believe that the agency has proactively violated the rights of migrants, but there are reasons to believe that it has turned a blind eye.”
      Gil Arias Fernández. ‘Frontex pains me,’ he said. Photograph: Jose Bautista/Courtesy of Fundation for Causa

      In January 2015, after the attacks on Charlie Hebdo in Paris, several European politicians suggested the presence of refugees among the terrorists.

      When the media asked Frontex about any link between refugees and the Paris attack, Arias Fernández, a former police commissioner in Spain, told them there was no evidence.

      Arias Fernández believes this cost him the director’s job.

      The political pressure made the job a tough one, Arias Fernández said. “There is a lot of pressure on the part of certain states to put their people in positions of responsibility. Whether the agency is headed by a Frenchman or a Finn may determine whether there is more or less sensitivity to migration problems. The agency is independent, but ‘independent’ should be put in quotation marks because without a fluid relationship with the [European] commission, you have a hard time.

      “Operations have always been conducted unarmed and there have never been any problems. In operations where Libyan tribal clans smuggling migrants shot in the air to frighten the patrols, even there it was not considered appropriate to carry weapons. In this case, weapons are more a problem than a help. The proposal of carrying weapons came from the European Commission, which I do not know to what extent is influenced by lobbyists in Brussels.

      “There is no filter in the recruitment system. You cannot prevent people with extremist ideas from entering, unless they clearly express their position in favour of hate crimes, xenophobia and racism.”

      Arias Fernández pointed to the dearth of human rights training for Frontex officers. “But lack of information should not be used to justify certain things,” he said. “The incidents under investigation were carried out by Greek units following the instructions of their commanders.

      “When there are irregularities like this in operations, it is usually because there are instructions from the authorities responsible for coordinating the operation. The decision to turn back a boat with migrants is not taken by an officer but is an order from above.”
      A rescue boat escorts a dinghy with migrants from Afghanistan as a Frontex ship patrols off Lesbos in Greece. Photograph: Costas Baltas/Reuters

      He said he appreciated borders needed a certain level of security to know who was entering but added that immigration was vitally important for the survival of all European states.

      “I come to this conclusion because there are studies that show that if we do not resort to immigration and other incentives, the EU will have serious problems and the welfare state will be a chimera. We should learn these lessons. In the first half of the pandemic, migrants saved our bacon.

      “In Europe, movements that use populism are growing at an alarming rate, and the fight against immigrants is one of those arguments. States are excessively prudent in not touching this issue. The commission presented the new pact on migration and asylum, which contains no proposals for channelling migration through legal channels. They tried to satisfy all the blocs, Visegrád [Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia], southern states, northern states, and I fear that in the end it satisfies no one.”

      Arias Fernández said the lack of migrants being allowed into Europe would have a severe economic impact amid an ageing workforce: “Who will pay the pensions of the growing number of pensioners?”

      A Frontex spokesman denied the agency ignored migrants’ rights. “The executive director of Frontex has written several letters to the Greek authorities to address incidents that raised his concerns. Two inquiries, including one that was conducted by representatives of national authorities and the European Commission, have found no evidence of violations of human rights in Frontex operations in Greece.”

      The spokesman also denied that officers had always conducted operations while unarmed, saying: “Before this year, Frontex relied exclusively on officers provided by national authorities, who brought their own weapons to the agency’s operational activities. Today, Frontex has its own operational arm, the standing corps, whose core is made up of officers directly employed by the agency who require weapons for self-defence and to protect others.

      “Since Mr Arias left more than half-a-decade ago, Frontex has undergone a massive transformation that included a much bigger focus on cross-border crime, which means a greater chance that our officers may encounter life-threatening situations while patrolling the borders or performing other duties.”

      https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/jun/11/frontex-turning-blind-eye-to-human-rights-violations-says-former-deputy

      #extrême_droite

    • Human Rights in Europe are at a crossroads

      It is not a ‘one-off’. It did not take place six, twelve or eighteen months ago, and now things are better.

      It was just one of 491 incidents since March 2020, in which 14,720 men, women and children have been denied their fundamental human rights by a coastguard armed with assault rifles and behaving like a sea-militia ‘defending’ Greece against innocent, unarmed, and peaceful men, women and children attempting to find safe places to live.

      In the morning of 10 June, a boat carrying 31 people travelled towards Kos. Closing in on Ag. Fokas, on the south east side of the island, the boat was approached by several vessels from the Hellenic coast guard, and forced back towards Turkey.

      If anyone is wondering what a pushback at sea looks like, this is how it’s being carried out. And it is illegal.

      https://videopress.com/v/vPX3Vme3

      This shocking, immoral and illegal practice has become ‘normal’ in the Aegean Sea. Greece carries it out without let or hindrance, while the EU seems unable or unwilling to act.

      Human Rights in Europe are at a crossroads.

      According to the Greek government and Frontex, this isn’t a pushback, but a ‘prevention of entry’.

      There are two major problems with this assessment. First, under international law, no country is allowed to ‘prevent the entry’ of men, women and children not suspected of any crime (as these people are not) and who intend to apply for asylum. Even if the people in this boat had not entered Greek waters, the Greek coastguard would have broken international law, by forcibly preventing people who wish to apply for asylum, from entering Greece.

      But in fact, secondly, these people had in fact already entered Greek water. It cannot be a ‘prevention of entry’ if people have already ‘entered’: it is a pushback. And it is absolutely illegal.

      In the video we can hear one of the officers on the Hellenic coast guard vessel ΛΣ150, say “everyone abide by the rules, because he’s filming”. It’s disturbing that this even needed to be said. First, because what would have happened had this person not had the presence of mind, and technology, to film? What would have happened then? How would the heavily-armed coastguard have responded to these innocent, unarmed people trying to exercise their fundamental human rights? Why did this coastguard, who noticed a person filming, need to advise his colleagues to abide by the law? What did he fear they would do?

      Secondly, the disturbing images we can see in this video are in fact not ‘abiding by the rules’. It appears the coastguard does not understand – or perhaps accept – the rules. This is a video of the Greek coastguard breaking the law, even as one member of the coastguard warns his colleagues not to do something even worse.

      Nor is this an isolated incident.

      It’s how the Hellenic coastguard – and in some cases also Frontex – have been operating for the last 15 months.

      We must demand that Notis Mitarachis, and Fabrice Leggeri, are held to account for their continued, immoral, unacceptable, and illegal activity in the Aegean Sea. We must demand that the EU – or if, as increasingly seems to be the case, the EU is unwilling – the wider international community takes legal action, now, to prevent the Greek coastguard, the Greek government, Frontex and the EU, breaking international law, and shaming the whole of Europe in the process.

      None of this is acceptable. None of it is even beneficial to either Greece or the EU.

      The time to stop this is now. The time to act is now. The EU can and must act. If it refuses, it is time for the international court to prosecute Mitarachis, Nea Dimokratia, Leggeri, Frontex, and the European Commission. Anything else is to further damage, and indeed make a laughing stock of international law, and all our human rights.

      https://aegeanboatreport.com/2021/06/28/human-rights-in-europe-are-at-a-crossroads

    • Communiqué de presse : Frontex a besoin d’une #réorganisation radicale

      Les députés du groupe de travail sur le contrôle de Frontex, sous l’égide de l’eurodéputée écologiste Tineke Strik, ont présenté aujourd’hui en commission des libertés civiles (LIBE) du Parlement européen, le rapport sur le rôle de Frontex dans le #refoulement illégal des réfugiés. Un des principaux enseignements est la nécessité d’ une réorganisation radicale de l’agence pour qu’elle respecte les droits humains.

      L’enquête menée par les eurodéputés confirme que Frontex a manqué à ses responsabilités en matière de protection des droits humains aux frontières de l’UE. L’agence avait connaissance de violations des droits fondamentaux commises dans des pays de l’UE avec lesquels elle coopère, et n’a pas réagi face à ces allégations. La direction de Frontex a sciemment ignoré les rapports des journalistes d’investigation et d’ONG, les avertissements internes du personnel et même les séquences vidéo dans lesquelles ces violations étaient visibles.

      Saskia Bricmont, députée européenne Vert/ALE, membre de la commission LIBE et responsable du rapport sur la décharge budgétaire Frontex, déclare :

      “En ne faisant pas respecter les droits fondamentaux aux frontières de l’UE, Frontex a failli à son devoir. L’agence a besoin d’une réorganisation radicale. Je salue le travail d’enquête mené par mes collègues : il est essentiel d’identifier les lacunes et les fautes afin d’y remédier au plus vite.”

      “Le rapport dévoile que Frontex était non seulement conscient des violations des droits fondamentaux, mais n’a de surcroît pas réagi de manière appropriée face à son obligation de prévenir les violations des droits humains. En dépit des différents signaux d’alerte provenant d’acteurs internes et externes, l’agence a fait preuve d’inactivité manifeste, voire de réticence à agir. Nous sommes particulièrement préoccupés par le respect des normes en matière de droits humains dans les opérations menées en Grèce et en Hongrie. Nous demandons au directeur exécutif de suspendre immédiatement les opérations en Hongrie et d’évaluer les opérations en Grèce.”

      “Il existe des signes clairs de mauvaise gestion : les rapports internes faisant état de violations des droits fondamentaux ont été ignorés, le recrutement des agents spécialisés dans les droits fondamentaux a été retardé et reste incomplet. Nous ne croyons pas en la capacité de l’actuel directeur exécutif, Fabrice Leggeri, à résoudre les problèmes que nous avons exposés. M. Leggeri a induit le Parlement européen en erreur à plusieurs reprises et a encouragé une culture d’impunité, tout en continuant à nier l’existence des refoulements illégaux.”

      “Notre rapport exhorte le Conseil d’administration de Frontex à reconsidérer la position de M. Leggeri et de l’ensemble de la direction générale. Dans un tel contexte, la décharge budgétaire ne doit pas être octroyée à l’agence. Par ailleurs, il est temps que les États membres assument leur responsabilité commune dans la défense des valeurs européennes en matière de gestion des frontières et le respect des droits fondamentaux.”

      https://twitter.com/saskiabricmont/status/1415611092894724097

      Recommandations du #rapport :

      – Frontex ne doit effectuer des opérations conjointes qu’avec des pays qui agissent dans le plein respect des droits fondamentaux. Pour remplir cette obligation, Frontex devrait surveiller l’ensemble de la zone opérationnelle et enquêter sur tous les incidents ou autres indications de non-conformité.

      – Si un refoulement est signalé à Frontex, l’agence ne devrait pas seulement enquêter en s’appuyant sur les réponses des autorités gouvernementales, mais également vérifier les informations fournies.

      – La Commission européenne devrait conditionner le financement européen de la gestion des frontières au respect des droits fondamentaux par l’État membre concerné.

      https://saskiabricmont.eu/frontex-besoin-reorganisation-radicale
      #frontières #asile #migrations #réfugiés

      –—

      Réaction de Frontex :

      Frontex welcomes report by the Scrutiny Working Group

      Frontex welcomes the report by the Scrutiny Working Group and its conclusions which reaffirmed that there is no evidence of the Agency’s involvement in any violation of human rights.

      The agency has been working with the Parliament’s scrutiny group in an open and transparent manner, sharing information and receiving the MEPs during an online visit to Frontex. The agency remains committed to cooperating with the European Parliament.

      “I acknowledge the conclusion of Parliament’s fact-finding scrutiny and its recommendations. Frontex is a bigger, more complex organisation than a couple of years ago, so a system that was designed in the past needs to undergo further transformation. The report underlined the challenges of the Agency’s transformation in a more and more complex security environment,” said Frontex Director Fabrice Leggeri.

      “We are determined to uphold the highest standards of border control within our operations. We will look into the recommendations and see how we can implement them to further strengthen the respect of fundamental rights in all our activities,” he added.

      Frontex has completed two stages of the inquiry into last autumn’s media allegations. Both an internal inquiry and the report by a special working group appointed by the Management Board (with Commission and Member states representatives) have found no evidence of any Frontex involvement in violation of human rights.

      The agency has already taken on board many of the recommendations issued by the working group, upgraded its reporting mechanism and reinforced its operational coordination centres to improve information exchange. It will continue working towards an effective and transparent management of EU external borders in full respect of fundamental rights.

      Recent events at the European Union’s external borders have shown that Frontex is an essential assistance for Member States and the whole EU in situations of increased migratory pressure. Our security environment is increasingly volatile and complex.

      Today, Frontex has officially launched its rapid border intervention at Lithuania’s border with Belarus and deployed standing corps officers and equipment to help secure EU’s common external border.

      https://frontex.europa.eu/media-centre/news/news-release/frontex-welcomes-report-by-the-scrutiny-working-group-0AQJWY
      https://twitter.com/Frontex/status/1415654854412877824

    • EU border agency ‘has failed to protect asylum seekers’ rights’

      Author of European parliament report says Frontex agency’s director should resign or be sacked

      The EU border agency has failed to protect the human rights of asylum seekers, according to a damning European parliament report on the organisation.

      After a four-month investigation by MEPs the report’s author, Tineke Strik, told the Guardian, that Frontex “did not fulfil its human rights obligations and therefore did not address and therefore did not prevent future violations”.

      Strik, a Dutch Green MEP, wants the agency’s director, Fabrice Leggeri, to resign or be fired, but the special cross-party group of eight MEPs, spanning rightwing nationalists to the radical left, that was convened to investigate Frontex has not made that call.

      Speaking before the report was released on Thursday, Strik continued: “We should consider in the end, can we have confidence in this executive director to really implement those recommendations [in her report] and really change it into a human rights sensitive agency? My group [Green MEPs], we don’t have confidence in him any more. We think it would be sound if the management board would draw the same conclusion and start the search for a new executive director.”

      Once an obscure EU agency, Frontex has become a central pillar of EU border management. After more than a 1.2 million people sought asylum in the EU in 2015, European leaders agreed to give the Warsaw-based organisation more staff and money, a point of consensus in the often fraught EU debate on how to manage migration. By 2027, Frontex will have 10,000 border and coastguards, while its budget has already increased more than 19-fold since its creation in 2006.

      But the agency has come under growing scrutiny over its role in alleged pushbacks in the Aegean Sea, with dozens of human rights organisations calling for it to be abolished.

      Last year Frontex was accused of complicity in forcing back asylum seekers in breach of international law, after video footage emerged of one of its ships creating waves that drove back a dingy in the Aegean Sea crammed with people. That footage came through a joint investigation by Lighthouse Reports, Bellingcat, Der Spiegel, ARD and TV Asahi, which said it had found six incidents where the agency was directly involved in a pushback in the Aegean or in close proximity to one.

      The committee said they had not found “conclusive evidence” that the agency was involved in pushbacks but concluded Frontex had failed to investigate such reports promptly. “As a result, Frontex did not prevent these violations, nor reduced the risk of future fundamental rights violations,” said the report.

      Strik said it was “pretty clear that [Frontex] were at least aware of what was going on” in the Aegean Sea. The agency’s investigations were “very superficial”, she said. “They asked for a response from the [Greek] government and when the government denied [pushbacks] the case was closed.”

      She said Frontex’s modus operandi was to rely on the word of the EU member state it was working with. “They end up asking the government, the host member state, and they almost always accept this response. Our conclusion is that Frontex did not fulfil its human rights obligations and therefore did not address and therefore did not prevent future violations.”

      The agency had repeatedly failed to respond to reports of rights violations from inside the organisation and external organisations, the MEPs said.

      The blame is placed largely on Leggeri, a former senior official in France’s interior ministry in charge of illegal migration, who has been the agency’s executive director since 2015. He has been singled out for criticism for shoring up his own power base within the agency, while failing to recruit all 40 fundamental rights monitors as required by EU law.

      MEPs found that Leggeri had appointed 63 staff to his private office, a number that far exceeds the average. By contrast, Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, has 30 staff in her private office. “We contrast that in the way he acts with the monitors, only delaying and undermining, yet he provides for an amazing number of staff measures for his own cabinet,” Strik said.

      The MEPs concluded that Leggeri had delayed the recruitment of three executive directors required under EU law that might have checked his power.

      “That results in a complete lack of checks and balances within the organisation and of course we blame the executive director for that, but also the management board because the management board is overall responsible for good governance in the organisation,” Strik said.

      EU member states, she said, needed to make sure their representatives on the Frontex management board had the required expertise in fundamental rights and a direct line to ministers.

      “One of the problems,” she said, was that Frontex was conceived as a security rather than a rights organisation. EU member states found the agency reassuring: “[They] talk about threats at the border. They always call for Frontex. Maybe as reassurance for their own population, ‘we have secured your borders and we have made you safe’.”

      She said there was a perception inside and outside the agency that upholding human rights was in conflict with border control. “Some of the actors still perceive that when you start acting on fundamental rights, then you become less effective on border control … [Frontex] needs to do both and it’s possible to do both at the same time, so it’s a non-discussion actually.”

      The Guardian has contacted Frontex for a response to the European parliament’s report. The agency has always denied any involvement or knowledge of illegal pushbacks.

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jul/15/eu-border-agency-has-failed-to-protect-asylum-seekers-rights

    • Frontex wusste von Menschenrechtsverletzungen – und tat nichts

      Monatelang haben EU-Parlamentarierinnen und Parlamentarier SPIEGEL-Enthüllungen zu illegalen Pushbacks von Flüchtlingen in der Ägäis untersucht. Der Bericht ist eine Abrechnung mit Frontex-Direktor Leggeri – er soll belastendes Material vernichtet haben.

      Monatelang haben EU-Parlamentarierinnen und Parlamentarier SPIEGEL-Enthüllungen zu illegalen Pushbacks von Flüchtlingen in der Ägäis untersucht. Der Bericht ist eine Abrechnung mit Frontex-Direktor Leggeri – er soll belastendes Material vernichtet haben.

      Der europäischen Grenzschutzagentur Frontex lagen Beweise für mutmaßlich illegale Pushbacks durch griechische Grenzschützer vor, die Agentur hat es jedoch »versäumt, die Grundrechtsverletzungen anzusprechen und zu verhindern«. Das ist das Ergebnis einer monatelangen Untersuchung des Europaparlaments.

      Eine Prüfgruppe unter Beteiligung aller Fraktionen hat untersucht, was Frontex von den illegalen Pushbacks von Flüchtlingsbooten in der Ägäis wusste – und ob Frontex-Chef Fabrice Leggeri angemessen auf die Rechtsbrüche reagiert hat. Der Bericht der Arbeitsgruppe, den der SPIEGEL vorab einsehen konnte, liest sich wie eine Abrechnung mit Leggeri. Er zeichnet das Bild eines Direktors, der sich für die Einhaltung von Menschenrechten an den EU-Außengrenzen kaum interessiert und alles tut, um Verstöße zu vertuschen. Auf 17 Seiten listen die Abgeordneten seine Verfehlungen auf.

      Leggeri ignorierte sämtliche Hinweise

      Frontex habe öffentliche Berichte über Menschenrechtsverletzungen an den EU-Grenzen generell abgetan, heißt es im Report. Auch auf interne Informationen über mutmaßliche Rechtsbrüche habe die Agentur nicht angemessen reagiert. Leggeri ignoriere die Stellungnahmen und Anfragen seiner Grundrechtsbeauftragten und des sogenannten Konsultativforums. Diese sollen eigentlich dafür sorgen, dass die Agentur die Rechte von Asylsuchenden achtet.

      Trotz zahlreicher Berichte über mutmaßliche Rechtsbrüche in der Ägäis habe Leggeri nie umfassend erwogen, den Frontex-Einsatz zu beenden, oder überlegt, wie er die Menschenrechtsverletzungen verhindern könne. »Im Gegenteil, der Exekutivdirektor behauptet weiterhin, dass ihm keine Informationen über Grundrechtsverletzungen bekannt sind«, schreiben die Parlamentarierinnen und Parlamentarier.

      Darüber hinaus habe Leggeri das Parlament lange Zeit nicht angemessen informiert. Bei seinen Auftritten im Ausschuss habe der Frontex-Direktor Informationen über einzelne Pushbacks verschwiegen. In mehreren Fällen seien Grenzbeamte davon abgebracht worden, Rechtsbrüche mittels eines sogenannten »Serious Incident Reports« an die Frontex-Führung zu melden. Selbst die Einstellung von 40 Grundrechtsbeobachtern, die die Grenzbeamten kontrollieren sollen, habe Leggeri erheblich verzögert. Sie seien noch immer nicht vollständig rekrutiert.

      Frontex machte sich bei Menschenrechtsverletzungen zum Komplizen

      Die Untersuchung des Europaparlaments ist eine Reaktion auf Enthüllungen des SPIEGEL. Gemeinsame Recherchen mit den Medienorganisationen Lighthouse Reports, Bellingcat und dem ARD-Magazin »Report Mainz« zeigten, dass Frontex in der Ägäis in illegale Pushbacks verwickelt ist und sich bei griechischen Menschenrechtsverletzungen zum Komplizen gemacht hatte.

      Frontex-Beamte, darunter auch deutsche Bundespolizisten, stoppen in der Ägäis Flüchtlingsboote, bevor sie die griechischen Inseln erreichen, und übergeben sie an die griechische Küstenwache. Die Grenzschützer setzen die Geflüchteten anschließend systematisch auf dem Meer aus – entweder auf aufblasbaren Rettungsflößen oder auf Schlauchbooten, in denen sie den Motor entfernt haben. So stellen sie sicher, dass die Flüchtlinge nicht erneut griechische Gewässer erreichen können. Oft wenden die griechischen Beamten bei den Aktionen Gewalt an, stechen auf die Schlauchboote ein oder schießen ins Wasser. Bei mindestens sieben Fällen waren Frontex-Einheiten bei solchen Pushbacks in der Nähe oder in sie verstrickt.

      Pushbacks im Mittelmeer: Wie Frontex in Verbrechen verstrickt ist

      Griechische Grenzschützer schleppen Flüchtlinge systematisch aufs offene Meer zurück. Recherchen des SPIEGEL und seiner Partner zeigen, wie Frontex in die illegalen Operationen verwickelt ist. Sehen Sie hier den Film.

      In der Nacht vom 18. auf den 19. April zeichnete Frontex aus der Luft auf, wie die griechische Küstenwache Flüchtlinge auf ein Boot ohne Motor setzte und wegfuhr – ein klarer Rechtsverstoß, der die Menschen in Lebensgefahr brachte. Die Aufarbeitung des Pushbacks vom 18. April übernahm Leggeri persönlich. Dem Parlament verschwieg er den Pushback zunächst. Stattdessen stufte er den Vorfall nachträglich so ein, dass die Grundrechtsbeauftragte der Agentur fortan nicht mehr beteiligt war.

      Leggeri ließ offenbar belastendes Material vernichten

      Einer der brisantesten Vorwürfe im Bericht des Europaparlaments bezieht sich auf den Pushback in jener Nacht. Demnach wies Leggeri die Grundrechtsbeauftragte persönlich an, alle Informationen zu löschen, die sie zu dem Vorfall gesammelt hatte. Nach SPIEGEL-Informationen soll dies aus internen E-Mails hervorgehen, die die Abgeordneten einsehen konnten.

      https://www.spiegel.de/ausland/gefluechtete-in-griechenland-frontex-wusste-von-menschenrechtsverletzungen-u

  • Kosovo-Serbie : le « lac Trump » et les nouveaux cultes de la personnalité -
    C’était une boutade de l’émissaire américain Richard Grenell, mais elle a (presque) fini par se concrétiser. Comme les dirigeants serbes et kosovars réunis à Washington ne parvenaient pas à s’entendre sur le nom du lac de Ujman/Gazivode, situé entre les deux pays, ce dernier avait proposé de le renommer « #LakeTrump ». Une initiative aussitôt approuvée par les Serbes du Kosovo. Tour d’horizon des nouveaux cultes de la personnalité dans les Balkans.

    https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/Kosovo-Serbie-le-lac-Trump-et-les-nouveaux-cultes-de-la-personnal


    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Eir6VecX0Ag4G0e?format=jpg&name=900x900

    https://youtu.be/TkqlcByLtqc

    #toponimie #LacTrump #kosovo #serbie

  • Le #nouveau_camp de #Lesbos, #Grèce (#septembre_2020) :


    –-> photo : #Giorgos_Moutafis
    https://twitter.com/AneIrazabal/status/1305225485769740288
    #Kara_Tepe

    –----

    Un nouveau camp pour réfugiés sur l’île de Lesbos après les incendies

    Environ 500 demandeurs d’asile ont été installés dans un nouveau camp sur l’île grecque de Lesbos qui doit accueillir des milliers de #sans-abri après la destruction du grand centre de Moria. De nombreux migrants manifestent toutefois pour quitter l’île.

    « Dans cinq jours l’opération sera achevée. Tout le monde sera installé dans le nouveau camp », a assuré le ministre des Migrations, Notis Mitarachi, en visite à Lesbos depuis deux jours pour coordonner les travaux du nouveau camp. Situé à trois kilomètres du port de Mytilène, chef-lieu de l’île, ce camp « sera fermé pendant la nuit pour des raisons de sécurité », selon un communiqué ministériel.

    « Tout est parti en fumée à Moria. On ne peut plus rester dans la rue, dans le camp ce sera mieux », a indiqué à l’AFP une Somalienne qui attendait son tour devant l’entrée du camp pour être enregistrée.
    Migrants contaminés

    Notis Mitarachi a estimé que « 200 personnes » parmi les demandeurs d’asile pourraient être contaminées par le Covid-19 et que des restrictions strictes sont prévues pour les sorties des migrants du nouveau camp.

    Des milliers de familles vivent sur le bitume, sur les trottoirs ou dans les champs à Lesbos depuis les gigantesques incendies de mardi et mercredi qui ont détruit le centre d’enregistrement et d’identification de Moria, sans faire de victimes.

    Mis en place en 2015 pour limiter le nombre de migrants venant de la Turquie voisine à destination de l’Europe, ce centre abritait plus de 12’000 personnes dont 4000 enfants, soit quatre fois plus que sa capacité initiale.

    Refus d’entrer

    Des migrants ont à nouveau manifesté dans le calme dimanche en fin matinée, réclamant leur transfert vers la Grèce continentale, selon des journalistes de l’AFP. De nombreux demandeurs d’asile refusent d’entrer dans le nouveau camp, disant leur ras-le-bol après avoir attendu dans celui de Moria durant des mois, certains des années, d’être transférés dans des structures en Grèce continentale.

    Mais le ministre des Migrations, Notis Mitarachi, a souligné que « toute personne qui est dans la rue sera transférée dans le nouveau camp ». « Ceux qui rêvent quitter l’île, il faut qu’ils l’oublient », a-t-il affirmé.

    https://www.rts.ch/info/monde/11600300-un-nouveau-camp-pour-refugies-sur-lile-de-lesbos-apres-les-incendies.ht

    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #camps_de_réfugiés #tentes #HCR #SDF

    Sur l’incendie du mois de septembre 2020 :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/875743

    #comme_en_Afrique...

    –----

    Fil de discussion sur le dernier incendie :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/875743

    ping @isskein @karine4

    • Just 800 of Greek island’s 12,500 homeless migrants rehoused

      Just over 6% of the 12,500 people left homeless last week by the fire that destroyed Greece’s biggest camp for refugees and migrants have been rehoused in a new temporary facility under construction on the island of Lesvos, authorities said Monday.

      By Monday afternoon, about 800 people had entered the new tent city, hastily set up by the sea a few kilometers from the gutted Moria camp, migration ministry officials said.

      Thousands remained camped out for a sixth day along a road leading from Moria to the island capital of Mytilene, with police blocking the way into town to prevent asylum-seekers trying to board ferries for the Greek mainland instead of entering the new camp.

      Authorities say the blazes last Tuesday and Wednesday in Moria, where thousands of people arrive every year after crossing illegally from nearby Turkey, were started by camp residents angry at quarantine orders imposed after 35 people in the facility tested positive for Covid-19.

      Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis said there’s space for about 5,000 people so far in the new camp, on a former military firing range at Kara Tepe near Mytilene. He also said everyone left homeless by the Moria fire will be able to relocate to Kara Tepe within the next few days.

      Officials said the gap between available spaces and residents in the new camp is largely due to the unwillingness of many asylum-seekers to settle in. Many had hoped that with Moria destroyed they would be allowed to head for the Greek mainland, or even other European Union countries.

      Several hundred women and children held a protest march along the Moria-to-Mytilene road Monday, chanting: “No camp, freedom.”

      But government officials said the only way for former Moria camp residents to leave Lesbos would be to move to the new facility and successfully apply there for asylum.

      “Moving to the new camp is not optional, it’s obligatory,” Mitarakis said in an interview with Parapolitika Radio.

      Under EU rules, people reaching Greece’s eastern Aegean islands from Turkey must stay in camps at their points of arrival pending examination of their asylum bids. This led to overcrowding and squalid living conditions for camp residents that were repeatedly criticised by human rights organizations. It also triggered resentment among Lesbos’ Greek population.

      Asylum-seekers entering Kara Tepe are tested for Covid-19 as part of the registration process, and 15 infected people have been recorded so far. All were moved to isolation facilities.

      Greece’s minister responsible for public order, Michalis Chryssohoidis, said Monday he hoped a continued reduction in migration flows from nearby Turkey and a speedy processing of asylum applications should mean the last of the refugees and migrants currently on Lesbos would have left by spring.

      Greek authorities plan to build a new facility for future arrivals that will replace Moria.

      https://www.ekathimerini.com/256958/article/ekathimerini/news/just-800-of-greek-islands-12500-homeless-migrants-rehoused

    • 2,9 εκατομμύρια για νοίκια στον Καρά Τεπέ μέχρι το… 2025, στην κατά τα άλλα προσωρινή δομή !
      142.051 για τους τέσσερις μήνες του 2020 και από 550.000 το χρόνο, για τα έτη 2021 έως 2025, προκειμένου να νοικιαστούν οι εκτάσεις του Καρά Τεπέ από το Υπουργείο Μετανάστευσης και Ασύλου

      « Λεφτά με το τσουβάλι » αλλά και απόδειξη ότι η προσωρινή δομή του Καρά Τεπέ κάθε άλλο παρά προσωρινή είναι. Το « Ν » αποκαλύπτει σήμερα, δημοσιοποιώντας τα σχετικά έγγραφα, ότι για την περίοδο Σεπτέμβριος 2020 έως 31 Δεκεμβρίου 2025, το Υπουργείο μετανάστευσης και ασύλου δίνει το αστρονομικό ποσό των 2.9 εκατομμυρίων ευρώ μόνο για την ενοικίαση εκτάσεων ξερής και εγκαταλειμμένης γης στον Καρά Τεπέ. Προκειμένου να δημιουργήσει ένα νέο μόνιμο ΚΥΤ.

      Συγκεκριμένα με δυο χθεσινές (14.9.2020) αποφάσεις του Υπουργείου Μετανάστευσης και Ασύλου που αναρτήθηκαν στο « Διαύγεια » δεσμεύονται τα παρακάτω ποσά :

      – 142.051 ευρώ για την ενοικίαση γεωτεμαχίων για τη λειτουργία προσωρινής δομής φιλοξενίας προσφύγων και μεταναστών έως τις 31.12.2020.

      – Επίσης δεσμεύονται άλλα 2.750.000 ευρώ (550.000 ευρώ το χρόνο) για τη μίσθωση των ίδιων γεωτεμαχίων στην περιοχή Καρά Τεπέ !

      Ας σημειώσουμε ότι στις εκτάσεις αυτές που ανήκουν εξ αδιαιρέτως σε απογόνους γνωστής οικογένειας της παλιάς Μυτιλήνης, έχουν αρχίσει ήδη να πραγματοποιούνται χωματουργικές εργασίες, σε κάποια δε τμήματα στήνονται και σκηνές. Εκτείνονται δε πέραν του οικοπέδου του πεδίου βολής ιδιοκτησίας του υπουργείου Εθνικής Άμυνας και φτάνει μέχρι και πίσω από το σούπερ μάρκετ Lidl, Σε επαφή δηλαδή από τη μια μεριά με επιχειρήσεις κατά μήκος του δρόμου από την παλιά ΕΦΑΜ μέχρι και το πεδίο βολής και από την άλλη μεριά, μέχρι τη θάλασσα.

      Η ενοικίαση του συγκεκριμένου χώρου αποδεικνύει προφανώς ότι η νέα, κατ’ ευφημισμό αποκαλούμενη « προσωρινή », δομή στον Καρά Τεπέ είναι ο χώρος όπου θα αναπτυχθεί το μόνιμο ΚΥΤ που εξήγγειλε ο Πρωθυπουργός Κυριάκος Μητσοτάκης από τη Θεσσαλονίκη.

      Το μέγεθος δε της όλης έκτασης, πολλές εκατοντάδες στρέμματα, συμπεριλαμβανομένης και της έκτασης του υπουργείου Εθνικής Άμυνας, δείχνει ότι θα είναι ένα τεράστιο ΚΥΤ πολύ μεγαλύτερο αυτό της Μόριας, το μεγαλύτερο στην Ελλάδα αλλά και σε όλη την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση, σε άμεση επαφή με κατοικημένες περιοχές και πολλές δεκάδες επιχειρήσεις, λίγες εκατοντάδες μέτρα από το χωριό Παναγιύδα.

      Ας σημειωθεί ότι όπως λέχθηκε από ανθρώπους της κτηματαγοράς στη Μυτιλήνη, το ύψος του ενοικίου είναι ίσως μεγαλύτερο και από το ύψος του ποσού που απαιτείτο μέχρι πρότινος για την αγορά της έκτασης.
      https://www.stonisi.gr/post/11449/29-ekatommyria-gia-noikia-ston-kara-tepe-mexri-to-2025-sthn-kata-ta-alla-pro

      –—

      Commentaire et traduction de quelques extraits par Vicky Skoumbi :

      Voici quelques extraits de l’article du média locale sto nisi qui révèle les véritables intentions du gouvernement, qui loin de programmer l’évacuation des îles d’ici Pâques, prévoit la création du plus grand hot-spot de l’Europe à Kara-Tepe à Lesbos, beaucoup plus grand que Moria !
      Si en plus, on tient compte les intentions affichés du gouvernement de créer non pas un RIC fonctionnant comme avant, mais un centre de réception et d’identification fermé sous surveillance policière 24h sur 24h, on voit que le pire est devant nous et les déclaration sur le départ de tout réfugié d’ici Päques n’est que poudre aux yeux de la population locale et de la communauté internationale

      2,9 millions prévus pour la location de terrains à Kara Tepe jusqu’en… 2025, tout ça pour une structure censément provisoire !

      142051 pour les quatre mois de 2020 et de 550000 par an, de 2021 à 2025, afin de louer les terrains de Kara Tepe par le ministère de l’Immigration et de l’Asile.

      La location de ces terrains prouve évidemment que la nouvelle structure à Kara Tepe appelée par euphémisme « temporaire » est l’endroit où sera installé le RIC (Reception Identification Center), le hot-spot permanent annoncé par le Premier ministre Kyriakos Mitsotakis à Thessalonique.

      L’étendue de l’ensemble de la zone, plusieurs centaines d’hectares, y compris la zone du ministère de la Défense nationale, montre qu’il s’agira d’un hot-spot énorme, beaucoup plus grand que celui de Moria, le plus grand de Grèce et de toute l’Union européenne, en contact direct avec des zones résidentielles et de très nombreuses d’entreprises, à quelques centaines de mètres du village de Panagouda.

      Il est à noter que comme l’ont dit les gens du marché immobilier à Mytilène, le montant du loyer est probablement supérieur du montant requis pour l’achat même du terrain.

    • Lesbos : les migrants à la rue évacués par la police vers un nouveau camp « provisoire »

      La police grecque a commencé jeudi à évacuer une partie des milliers de réfugiés jetés à la rue par l’incendie de Moria vers un nouveau camp, « provisoire » selon l’ONU et les autorités grecques. Ces dernières ont évoqué Pâques comme date butoir pour transférer les exilés de l’île de Lesbos.

      La police grecque a commencé jeudi 17 septembre à évacuer une partie des milliers de réfugiés jetés à la rue par l’incendie de Moria vers un nouveau camp.

      Vers 7h locales (4h GMT), la police faisait le tour des tentes, dans le calme. Progressivement ils ont entrepris de vider le secteur de ses sans-abri et les emmener vers le nouveau camp érigé à la hâte après l’incendie, il y a une semaine.

      https://twitter.com/rspaegean/status/1306301897368797187?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E13

      Sous un soleil déjà chaud, et sur fond de pleurs d’enfants, plusieurs réfugiés, dont des femmes et des enfants, pliaient leurs couvertures, apportaient des sacs contenant leurs affaires sauvées des flammes la semaine dernière, ou se mettaient à démonter les tentes de bric et de broc installées sur l’asphalte, selon des informations de l’AFP. Ces transferts s’ajoutent aux plusieurs centaines de migrants, déjà arrivés dans le camp mardi et mercredi, selon des humanitaires. D’après les derniers chiffres des autorités grecques, mardi, 1 200 personnes y étaient logées.

      Mercredi soir, 1 000 tentes, pouvant chacune accueillir 8 à 10 personnes, y étaient érigées. Des tentes médicales doivent encore être dressées, et deux zones de quarantaine sont prévues alors que quelque dizaines de cas de coronavirus ont été détectés - mais pour l’heure sans gravité.

      « L’objectif est de protéger la santé publique »

      Depuis l’incendie du camp de Moria, le plus grand d’Europe où vivaient près de 13 000 réfugiés dans des conditions dramatiques, les migrants se sont entassés sous des abris de fortune sur un coin de route et des parkings de supermarché fermés, dans une précarité extrême.

      Dans ce contexte, toute distanciation sociale pour se protéger du Covid-19 semble impossible et, surtout, l’urgence est ailleurs, ont observé des journalistes d’InfoMigrants sur place. « La plus grande préoccupation de ces personnes actuellement, c’est d’avoir accès à de la nourriture et de l’eau », a expliqué Dimitra Chasioti, psychologue pour Médecins sans frontières (MSF) présente sur les lieux.

      « L’objectif est de protéger la santé publique », a déclaré à l’AFP Theodoros Chronopoulos, porte-parole de la police. Il a confirmé une « opération en cours » qui « répond à des fins humanitaires ».

      MSF, qui a ouvert une clinique d’urgence dans cette zone, s’est vu interdire l’accès dans la nuit, alors que des rumeurs d’évacuation couraient, a indiqué l’ONG à l’AFP. À 7h30 (4h30 GMT), ses membres ne pouvaient toujours pas rejoindre leur clinique.

      https://twitter.com/MSF_Sea/status/1306455464071356416?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E13

      « Une opération de police est en cours pour emmener les réfugiés vers le nouveau camp. Cela ne devrait pas empêcher l’aide médicale », a twitté l’ONG. La zone a également été restreinte aux médias.

      https://twitter.com/MortazaBehboudi/status/1306468926830903296?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E13

      Objectif : « quitter l’île pour Athènes »

      Ce nouveau camp, qui crée de nombreuses réticences parmi la population migrante angoissée à l’idée de se retrouver à nouveau enfermée, sera seulement « provisoire » ont promis l’ONU et les autorités grecques.

      Construit depuis samedi, il a pour objectif que les réfugiés « puissent progressivement, et dans le calme, quitter l’île pour Athènes » ou « être réinstallés ailleurs », a indiqué mercredi le représentant en Grèce du Haut commissariat de l’ONU aux réfugiés (HCR) en Grèce, Philippe Leclerc. « Le HCR pousse les autorités (grecques) à accélérer le processus (de demande d’asile) pour que les gens ne restent pas trop longtemps » ici, a-t-il ajouté.

      Le ministre grec de la Protection civile Michalis Chrysochoidis a pour sa part estimé que « la moitié » des exilés pourrait quitter Lesbos « d’ici Noël » et « les autres d’ici Pâques ».

      https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/27338/lesbos-les-migrants-a-la-rue-evacues-par-la-police-vers-un-nouveau-cam

    • "It is a terrible, inhuman situation". #Marisa_Matias visits Kara Tepe refugee camp

      Marisa Matias says that more than three thousand people have arrived in Kara Tepe and another six thousand are yet to arrive. In this refugee camp, people who test positive for Covid-6 are placed “in spaces surrounded by barbed wire where they have no water,” said the MEP.

      Presidential candidate Marisa Matias visited Kara Tepe in Greece this Friday, who is receiving refugees from the Moria camp, which suffered from a fire on the night of September XNUMX.

      “It is a terrible, inhuman situation”, guaranteed Marisa Matias in a video published on her Facebook page. “It is welcoming the people of Moria, after the fire, it is an immense extension”, said the MEP, pointing out the high number of people passing by around her.

      https://jornaleconomico.sapo.pt/en/news/It-is-a-terrible-inhumane-situation-Marisa-Matias-visits-the-re
      #paywall

    • After Moria, EU to try closed asylum camps on Greek islands

      A “closed camp” for displaced people is being set up on Samos as part of the EU’s strategy for fortifying its external borders. Neither residents of the island nor the people who will be held there want the camp.

      The site of what is to be one of the first new EU camps for displaced people is surrounded by a 6-meter (20-foot) barbed